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game recap

Capitals even series against Blue Jackets in Game 4

Ovechkin has goal, assist to boost Washington to second straight road win

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Washington Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Nationwide Arena on Thursday to even the best-of-7 series.

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Blue Jackets highlights | Complete Capitals vs. Blue Jackets series coverage]

 

Linemates Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson combined for eight points for the Capitals. Kuznetsov had a goal and three assists, and Ovechkin and Wilson each had a goal and an assist.

Game 5 is at Washington on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, NBCSN, SN, TVAS).

"Obviously, the next game is a real pivotal game," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Someone's going to take the lead in this series, and then your back's against the wall. So we've got to make sure we're ready to go. But I think we have been since we got here, and we've just got to do it at home."

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Wilson blasts one-timer past Bobrovsky

For the first time in their history, the Capitals tied a series 2-2 after losing the first two games at home. Each home loss came in overtime before they won 3-2 in double overtime in Game 3 here Tuesday.

"We've been a confident group all year," said Holtby, who made 23 saves in his second straight start after backing up Philipp Grubauer for the first two games. "... I don't think we ever doubted ourselves that way. We came into this building with the right mindset to have success against this team here."

Ovechkin scored his third goal of the series, first at even strength, to put the Capitals up 3-0 at 2:49 of the third period. Boone Jenner tipped in a Josh Anderson shot to make it 3-1 at 6:22.

Kuznetsov scored his third of the series into an empty net with 2:19 left for a 4-1 lead.

Columbus struggled to get its power play set up in the Washington zone and did not have a shot on goal after Kuznetsov was called for tripping Zach Werenski 34 seconds into the game.

"For some reason, you could see it from the first shift right into our early power play," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We looked nervous right on through. I don't know why. It was just a struggle. That's called a good old-fashioned laying an egg right on throughout the lineup. It was unexpected. It happened."

Wilson made it 1-0 at 6:16 of the first period off a broken play. The Capitals have scored first in each of the four games.

Sergei Bobrovsky made a save on John Carlson and sprawled to stop a Chandler Stephenson rebound attempt. The puck was almost on the goal line behind Bobrovsky (29 saves) when Blue Jackets forward Thomas Vanek swept it away with his glove. Kuznetsov got the puck and passed to Wilson above the right circle for a one-timer.

"They're always working hard. They're a team that's going to put their heads down and work," Wilson said of Columbus. "You give us credit tonight. We took that away from them. We obviously get a couple of big goals and played pretty much the whole game with that goose egg up there."

Oshie made it 2-0 at 9:19 of the second on Washington's third power play, scoring on a wrist shot from the slot after Bobrovsky made two saves on Ovechkin.

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Oshie cashes in on rebound for PPG

 

Goal of the game

Ovechkin's goal at 2:49 of the third period.

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Ovechkin uses quick release to score

 

Save of the game

Holtby stopping Pierre-Luc Dubois 4:57 into the first period.

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Holtby makes consecutive saves in front

 

Highlight of the game

Bobrovsky's save on Ovechkin at 8:46 of the third period.

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Bobrovsky snags Ovi's shot on breakaway

 

They said it

"We managed the game much better. We got a huge save in the first, one in the second at real key moments." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

"It's a series for a reason. We're not going to get down from one game. We have to learn from this game. We have to know we have to be way better. Maybe it gives us a little kick in the rear to know that we have a real good opportunity in front of us to go back there. Home ice hasn't been too nice to each team. We'll try to get one back." -- Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno

 

"We were like robots tonight. It's very unlike us. We'll bounce back." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

 

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm4: Jenner redirects a shot past Holtby

 

Need to know

The series is the fifth in the NHL since 2011 that the visiting team won the first four games. … Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 41 of 62 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He is 28-13 in those games. … Carlson has seven points (one goal, six assists) in the series. ... The Blue Jackets have never allowed fewer than three goals in their 19 playoff games. … The Blue Jackets set an attendance record for a home game (19,395), breaking by 58 the mark set in Game 3.

 

What's next

Game 5 of Eastern Conference First Round at Capital One Arena on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, NBCSN, SN, TVAS)

 

Video: Ovechkin, Kuznetsov help Caps even series in 4-1 win

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