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Fehr, Capitals keep Blue Jackets from record

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr prevented the Columbus Blue Jackets from making history.

Fehr scored 42 seconds into overtime to give the Capitals a 5-4 victory at Nationwide Arena on Thursday, which stopped the Blue Jackets from setting an NHL record by winning five straight games after regulation. Columbus had won two games in overtime and two in a shootout in its previous four games.

Washington (15-10-6) blew a 2-0 first-period lead and twice tied the score in the third period. Forward Troy Brouwer scored with three minutes remaining in regulation. Defenseman Mike Green assisted on the final two goals.

"That was a big one tonight for our team the way we fought back," Brouwer said. "We were really resilient. I know we could have folded a few times but we hung in there and got a win."

Columbus (13-15-3) failed to match the team record of eight straight wins.

"I'm disappointed the way the game ended," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We had two leads, two opportunities to get a win in regulation. It leaves a little bitter taste because of the opportunities."

Brouwer scored to make it 4-4 less than two minutes after Columbus rookie center Michael Chaput scored his first NHL goal in his 27th game.

Columbus forward Nick Foligno had two goals and assist, including his 100th NHL goal, and defenseman Jack Johnson had a goal.

Defenseman Karl Alzner and forward Jason Chimera each had a goal and an assist, forward Michael Latta had two assists, and forward Joel Ward had a first-period goal for Washington.

"We've got to look at it as a positive," Foligno said. "We’re not in a situation where we get down on ourselves. We’re still playing some good hockey.

"We've got to find a way to hold on to that lead and have a better start, and if we do that we'd have the win tonight."

Columbus lost a lead in the final three minutes for the third straight home game.

Brouwer's 10th goal went in off his left skate after a centering pass from Green. The play was reviewed and the goal was upheld because Brouwer did not make a distinct kicking motion.

"What was going through my mind is the puck is coming, my stick is tied up, knowing I'm allowed to direct the puck in with my skate," Brouwer said. "I just tried to have a good angle, a good surface for the puck to bounce off of."

In overtime, Green skated with the puck before passing to Fehr low in the right circle for a one-timer.

"That's Mike Green playing the way he does and should," Brouwer said. "We need him playing like that."

Washington has at least one point in seven straight games.

"It was one of the biggest celebrations I’ve seen on the team after (the Fehr goal)," Alzner said. "We've got some momentum."

Ward scored his 10th on a wrist shot from the right dot past the stick of Sergei Bobrovsky (31 saves) midway through the first. Chimera, a former Blue Jackets player, made it 2-0 with 38 seconds left in the first period for his third goal.

Johnson and Foligno scored power-play goals for the Blue Jackets 3:09 apart in the second period to tie the game 2-2.

"We showed we can come back when we’re down a goal," Columbus defenseman Kevin Connauton said. "There's still a belief we can make something happen. Unfortunately, that first 20 (minutes) kind of hurt us."

Foligno's goal to make it 3-2 came 52 seconds into third period but Alzner tied the score with 12:58 left in regulation. The Blue Jackets took the lead again after Chaput's goal with 4:24 remaining in the third period, but Brouwer responded.

"It's a real big confidence builder playing against a team that won seven in row," Brouwer said.

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