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Blue Jackets at Capitals preview

Washington seeks second win against Columbus in four days

by Brian McNally / Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (27-22-4) at CAPITALS (31-17-5)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, FS-O, NHL.TV 


The Game 

The Columbus Blue Jackets try to avoid a season-high fifth consecutive loss when they visit the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Friday.

The Blue Jackets are 0-3-1 in their past four games, but hold the second wild-card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets 3-2 in Columbus on Tuesday.

Washington, which leads the Atlantic Division by four points over the Pittburgh Penguins, has lost two of its past three games and five of its past eight.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who has lost three straight starts, is 1-2-1 in his past four starts with a .933 save percentage and 2.23 goals-against average.

Capitals rookie Christian Djoos has an assist in four straight games, tied with John Carlson for the longest streak by a Washington defenseman this season. 


They said it

"I thought for a few games a couple of weeks ago, he was coming. The last game, to me, it just wasn't good enough. He's trying. But it's just not quick enough right now as far as his pace." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on forward Boone Jenner, who has one goal in his past 15 games 

"There's still 29 games left. It's a little bit early to throw in the towel and say we can beat [Columbus] tonight and then not worry about them. You can't do that. You've got to keep playing, especially against divisional opponents that can be streaky." -- Capitals forward Tom Wilson on possibly sweeping the Blue Jackets this week


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Oliver Bjorkstrand -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno

Boone Jenner -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Josh Anderson

Matt Calvert -- Lukas Sedlak -- Jussi Jokinen

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Jack Johnson -- Markus Nutivaara

Dean Kukan -- David Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Jeff Zatkoff

Scratched: Scott Harrington, Markus Hannikainen

Injured: Ryan Murray (upper body), Sonny Milano (oblique)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Alex Chiasson

Chandler Stephenson -- Jay Beagle -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- John Carlson

Christian Djoos -- Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Andre Burakovsky, Taylor Chorney

Injured: None


Status report

Columbus did not have a morning skate. … Burakovsky is expected to be a healthy scratch and miss his sixth game in the past 15.


Stat pack

The Blue Jackets have allowed a power-play goal in six consecutive games. … The Capitals have earned a point in 11 of their past 12 games against Columbus (9-1-2). ... Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals (32) and has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in his past 15 games. ... Kuznetsov is on a five-game point streak (one goal, six assists).

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