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Blue Jackets sink Capitals with late goal

Forward Alexander Wennberg scores tiebreaker with 54 seconds left to lift Columbus to fourth straight win

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Alexander Wennberg scored with 54 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Sunday.

Wennberg scored on the power play after Nicklas Backstrom was called for high-sticking with 1:34 left in the game.

"It's a tough game to play well and sometimes it felt like they took over the game more and more ... at the end of the game, we played smarter with our opportunities," Wennberg said. "It's a fun way to win."

Nick Foligno and Brandon Dubinsky also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for the Blue Jackets (10-4-2) who have won four consecutive games.

 

WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Capitals highlights

 

Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (11-5-2) and Braden Holtby made 20 saves.

Backstrom scored at 3:11 of the first period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. His shot from the top of the left circle deflected off Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson and fluttered past Bobrovsky. The goal was Backstrom's fourth in his past four games.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Backstrom scores off defenseman's stick

Foligno scored on the power play at 6:07 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1. His sharp angle shot deflected off the skate of Capitals defenseman John Carlson for his seventh goal of the season.

Ovechkin scored on the power play for a 2-1 Capitals lead at 10:31 of the second off a Backstrom feed from the left circle. Ovechkin's ninth goal of the season was Washington's first 5-on-4 power-play goal since Oct. 29.

"There wasn't much room out there offensively for both teams in the first two periods," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "They capitalized on both."

Dubinsky tied the game at 2-2 14 seconds into the third period. He took advantage of Brandon Saad's rebound and scored his second of the season with a backhand move.

 

Goal of the game

Dubinsky got the puck past Holtby with a backhand deke to tie the game early in the third period.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Dubinsky slips nifty backhand past Holtby

 

Save of the game

Bobrovsky denied Capitals forward Justin Williams on two consecutive attempts in the first period. The first one he kicked away with a right pad save before stopping the rebound on Williams' second try.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Bobrovsky kicks out pad to deny Williams

 

Highlight of the game

Ovechkin scored from his usual spot on the power play but not without help from Backstrom's cross-ice pass through traffic that hit his tape perfectly for his signature one-timer.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Ovechkin labels top corner for PPG in 2nd

 

Unsung moment of the game

Columbus forward Sam Gagner started the tic-tac-toe play that led to Wennberg's game-winning goal with a cross ice pass to Foligno.

Video: CBJ@WSH: Wennberg finishes pretty passing play in 3rd

 

They said it

"He's an important guy for us. As young as our team is, probably one of our most skilled players, a skilled center. We've talked about him a lot as a group out there in Columbus and it's big year for him to take more responsibility in his play away from the puck and with the puck and he's grown. He's still young, but he's a third-year pro. This is a big year for him and I think he's started off very well." - Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on Alexander Wennberg

 

"I think we're getting more comfortable in the League. At first I think you kind of try to figure it out and get your feet wet. Now that we've played 15 or 16 games, I feel a little bit more comfortable. You don't want to take a backseat to anybody, you don't want them to just overpower you. You don't want to go out there and not play your game. That comes with being more comfortable in the league." -- Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski on young players acclimating to the NHL

 

"We have plenty of guys who can fill in those roles. That's not an issue. I think you look at their power play today, the first goal is just on a lucky break and last one not what we thought would be a penalty and threw everything into a mess. We've got to trust each other a little more and that's just what happened." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby on the penalty kill missing key players

 

Need to know

Ovechkin scored the 198th power-play goal of his NHL career and is two away from becoming the 18th player in NHL history to score 200 power-play goals. ... Backstrom has seven points (three goals) in his past three games. ... The Blue Jackets went 2-for-3 on the power play and lead the League in power-play percentage (31.8).

 

What's next

Blue Jackets: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (7 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-O, NHL. TV)

Capitals: Host the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-MW, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Wennberg's late PPG lifts Blue Jackets over Capitals

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