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Game Day Hub: Blue Jackets at Capitals

by Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets




Cam Atkinson Post-Game

Ryan Johansen Post-Game

Todd Richards Post-Game

ANALYSIS: A much better period for the Blue Jackets and they’ve given themselves a chance here with 20 minutes to go. They killed off more penalties and found their hard-working, forechecking game with Boone Jenner leading the way. He was a physical and at times dominant force in the Washington zone, hunting pucks, retrieving pucks and finding a way to make something positive happen when the Blue Jackets entered the zone. Columbus broke through with a huge goal late in the period, a few minutes after a potentially tide-turning shift from Jenner himself. They had a couple of chances at the net, and the puck found its way back to David Savard at the left point and Savard whipped a quick shot toward Holtby. Hotlby bobbled it, dropped it, and a strong net presence by the Jackets forced him to back up, inadvertently putting the puck into his own net. That’s where we stand after two periods…and again, a big third period is needed by the Blue Jackets.

David Savard goal

ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets talked this morning about the need to stay out of the box and remain disciplined against an offensively-gifted Washington Capitals team. They did not follow that script in the opening period, yielding three goals and three power plays (including a 1:38 5-on-3) and falling behind 3-1 after 20 minutes. This has become a disturbing trend for Columbus, having to fight back on a regular basis and spotting opponents not one, but two-goal leads in nine of their last 13 games. Cam Atkinson got one back for the Blue Jackets midway through the first period, ripping a shot past Braden Holtby off a clean face-off win by Boone Jenner. Aside from that, though, the Blue Jackets have rarely had the puck and haven’t had much time to operate in the offensive zone. They need a quick reversal in this one and it starts with staying out of the penalty box.

Cam Atkinson goal

James Wisniewski discusses tonight's game:

Boone Jenner speaks after the morning skate:

Coach Todd Richards' morning press conference:

UPDATE (12:00 P.M.): Some additional pre-game nuggets from our nation's capital...

- Curtis McElhinney will get the start in net for the Blue Jackets tonight as they look to snap an eight-game skid. It's a big game for McElhinney, too, as he seeks his first win of the season (0-5-1). Only Sergei Bobrovsky (4-4-0) has recorded a victory between the pipes for Columbus.

- Fedor Tyutin told Shawn Mitchell of The Dispatch that he's in the lineup tonight, which is welcomed news.

- In related news: Jack Johnson is serving the final game of his three-game suspension tonight and is eligible to return Friday night in Philadelphia.

From the rink: The Blue Jackets are on the ice for their morning skate at Verizon Center. Good news right off the bat: both Jack Skille and Fedor Tyutin are on the ice, according to our own Jeff Rimer. That's not a guarantee that one or both will play tonight, but it's a good sign that they're taking the pre-game skate.

- UPDATE: Skille left the morning skate early, so it appears that he's a game-time decision tonight.

- Matt Calvert, who re-aggravated an upper body injury last week, is also out for tonight's game vs. the Capitals.

- No definite timetable yet for Sergei Bobrovsky's return, coach Todd Richards said after yesterday's intense practice at Nationwide Arena. He's "getting closer" but they haven't decided if he's a possibility for the weekend games (at Philadelphia, home vs. San Jose).

- Artem Anisimov remains out with an upper body injury. Mark Letestu (groin) skated with Bobrovsky on Saturday morning but has not rejoined the team for practice.

- Braden Holtby starts in goal for Washington.

- Tom Wilson and Brooks Laich are out for the Capitals tonight. It looks as though Jay Beagle will slot in on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

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