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Post Game: Blue Jackets 5, Capitals 2

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets



The Blue Jackets said it this morning: tonight's game against the Washington Capitals - a Metropolitan Division opponent that was equal in points - was a must-win game. Now it's one thing to say, but they came out and walked the walk tonight at Nationwide Arena. 

For the second straight game against the Capitals, the Blue Jackets racked up five goals and built a three-goal lead early in the second period. They got a shorthanded goal and four even-strength goals, went 7-for-7 on the penalty kill and limited NHL leading goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin to just two shots on those power play chances.

The end result: a 5-2 victory behind 30 saves from Sergei Bobrovsky, who was excellent between the pipes for Columbus.

You'd think it all went pretty well for the Blue Jackets, too, but they stumbled a bit out of the gate but settled down after a terrific play while shorthanded. RJ Umberger blocked a pass along the wall from Washington defenseman John Carlson, which allowed Derek MacKenzie to break in alone and score his fourth goal in five games - a goal that seemed to settle the Blue Jackets down and get back to their game.

Ryan Johansen scored his first of two goals with 3:02 left in the first period, burying a rebound off a shot that was deflected on the way in by new line mate Boone Jenner. That goal, Johansen's 20th of the season, made it 2-0 Columbus headed to the first intermission.

On the first shift of the second period, Brandon Dubinsky rifled a 50-foot slap shot past Braden Holtby to bump the lead to 3-0. Johansen's second made it 4-0, but the Capitals would close to 4-2 on a shorthanded goal by Joel Ward (late in the second period) and an early third-period goal from Eric Fehr.

Cam Atkinson had a huge response, netting his 17th goal of the season and second in as many games to make it a 5-2 game. Bobrovsky was solid from there on in, making a handful of key stops in the third period to preseve his 10th win in his last 12 games.

Easily, the Atkinson goal. The Capitals didn't have much going for them in the second period, but Ward's goal gave them a hint of energy and Fehr's goal made it a hockey game once again. Rather than let it linger, the Blue Jackets got a great shift from Calvert-Dubinsky-Atkinson right after the Capitals' second goal and it turned out to be a huge tally. 

First time in Johansen's young career that he's eclipsed the 20-goal mark and he did so in style tonight, drawing praise from Richards for his skating and work ethic. 

30 saves for Bobrovsky but some of his best came in the third period, when the Blue Jackets kept making their way to the penalty box. He was solid tonight and now has 10 wins in 12 games.

Two assists tonight for Johnson, who's got 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in his last 10 games. Solid effort overall and heavy minutes against the Capitals' top players tonight.


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