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Aftermath: Jackets' Streak Cap'd

by Brian McCormack / Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets’ seven-game winning streak came to an end on Thursday night in a 5-4 defeat to the Washington Capitals, with the Jackets going to overtime for the fifth straight contest.

The Blue Jackets came back from a 2-0 first period hole and led late in the third period, but Troy Brouwer tied the game late and Eric Fehr beat Sergei Bobrovsky early in overtime to end the Jackets’ perfect December run.

Here’s what we learned:

For their third straight game at Nationwide Arena, the Blue Jackets were unable to hold a late third period lead. Ahead 4-3 with only three minutes remaining, Brouwer drove the net and had Mike Green’s centering pass go off his skate and roll behind Bobrovsky. The play was reviewed, but officials determined that the puck wasn’t propelled in with a distinct kicking motion.

It’s the second time this season the Blue Jackets have come out on the wrong side of such a call, with a Boone Jenner goal being disallowed for a kicking motion on November 18th against Detroit. That goal would’ve tied the game in the first period, but instead Columbus would go on to lose 5-0.

The Columbus penalty kill continued its solid play, killing off all three power plays for the top-ranked Capitals unit. The power play was an even greater game-changer in pulling the Jackets back into the contest. After falling behind 2-0 through one period, and being outshot 12-1 in the first 15 minutes, the Jackets got two power play chances in the second period and they took advantage.

Jack Johnson continued his solid play of late and was camped out at the bottom of the left circle to slam home a Nick Foligno feed and get Columbus on the board with his first power play goal of the year. Riding the momentum of the goal, the Jackets drew another penalty two shifts later when Joel Ward hooked Foligno in the Caps’ zone. This time it was Foligno who would find the back of the net, finishing the rebound in front off the shot by Kevin Connauton.

Michael Chaput had a terrific training camp and forced his way onto the Blue Jackets roster at the start of the season. During the regular season, Chaput’s offensive production has been relatively quiet as he’s dutifully filled the role of a fourth-line center and at the same time learned the game as a full-time NHLer. He’s made strides as the season’s progressed, and he had one of his best games Thursday.

Chaput scored the first goal of his NHL career, showing strong awareness as he crashed the back post on a sharp-angled shot by Matt Calvert. The rebound sprayed out to Chaput, who fought off pressure and finished the play to give the Jackets a 4-3 lead late. Chaput was also a factor in the second period, when the Jackets road the momentum of their two power play goals and several physical battles reminiscent of Saturday’s game against the Penguins. Dalton Prout threw down with Tom Wilson, and Michael Latta squared off with Jared Boll right off the following draw. Chaput got into the action as well, getting tangled up with Brouwer in front of the Washington net.

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