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Williams, Oshie lift Capitals past Blue Jackets

by Katie Brown

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals wanted to forget about their last game. Friday, they played one worth remembering.

Justin Williams and T.J. Oshie scored, and Braden Holtby made 29 saves in a 2-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Verizon Center.

"Good teams don't lose two in a row," Williams said. "We want to see how good we can be this year. You certainly have to take care of your home ice, which we need to get a little better at, but certainly don't go on these lulls and lose two, three, four in a row."

The Capitals lost 3-1 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday at Verizon Center after winning five consecutive games. Washington (7-2-0) plays its second back-to-back game of the season against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Saturday.

"There's going to be losses this year and we want to be a team that can recover well," Oshie said. "I think tonight was a good showing of that; obviously not the start we wanted, but we followed it up with a great second and third and a good job by [Braden] too. He played great."

Forward Matt Calvert scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves for Columbus (2-9-0).

The Blue Jackets are 2-2-0 under coach John Tortorella, who was hired Oct. 21 to replace Todd Richards after starting the season with seven consecutive losses. Columbus won its first game of the season under Tortorella on Oct. 24.

"I will speak on our team," Tortorella said. "I think [the] second period we didn't manage the puck well. We had some turnovers; we turned one over on Williams' goal. We're down in the hash and instead of protecting, we throw it away. We struggled a little bit in the neutral zone in the second period, but I also saw some good things. That's a good hockey team we played against."

Williams scored at 14:16 of the second period to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Marcus Johansson handled the puck on the half wall and passed to Williams coming down from the point. His slap shot went past Bobrovsky's glove side for his second goal of the season.

Williams has five points in his past five games, and Johansson has three points in his past four.

"Every time you lose, you want to bounce back as quick as possible," Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom said. "We knew we were facing a really good team, especially after they changed their coach. They were playing hard, and I think for the first half of the game they almost played better than us. Then we worked ourselves into the game and scored that big goal in the second period, and after that we took the game over."

Oshie scored his fourth goal of the season at 11:59 of the third period on a tic-tac-toe passing play on the rush from Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, giving Washington a 2-0 lead. Oshie beat Bobrovsky with a wrist shot from the slot.

"It's been simple all year," Oshie said. "When we've been getting pucks deep and putting pucks in the right areas and making plays when it's time to make plays, we've been playing fast and we've been getting teams back on their heels."

Calvert scored his first of the season at 14:45 of the third period to make it 2-1. The goal was challenged for interference unsuccessfully by Capitals coach Barry Trotz.

It was the first time this season Trotz used the coach's challenge; the Capitals had a goal waved off after a challenge by the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 13.

"We didn't get anything from the referees coming over to us," Trotz said. "I'm not quite sure what the standard is. It's a good rule. It's in place for a purpose. I may not agree with it, but we battled through that. I just felt bad for [Holtby]. I think he deserved a shutout."

Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed illness. He finished with one shot on goal in 17:24.

"He played good," Tortorella said. "I moved some people in and off his line. They were close, but we just didn't get those really good looks, but give Washington credit. They're well-coached and defend well. That's a good hockey team to play."

Columbus forward Brandon Saad had flu-like symptoms and did not travel here. Defenseman Kevin Connauton was in the lineup in place of Fedor Tyutin, who was a healthy scratch.

"The last game and then this game are really the two close games that we've had, and we're only eight games into it," Trotz said. "I thought we managed it better. What we said on the bench translated on the ice. Some of our veteran players were saying the right things, doing the right things and being patient knowing that they would have to push on, so I would say some of the muscle memory of the close games came back today, which was nice to see."

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