Best in the League: Caps beat Blue Jackets 4-1

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Hey, the Caps have the best record in the league. How bout that? They shook off their 5v5 funk against Lumbus, recording even-strength goals from the best and second best heads of hair on the Washington roster (you decide which is which) and locking it down late.

Sixteen minutes into the first period, Justin Williams cracked a long 5v5 goal slump with a second effort after John Carlson’s rebound. That was nifty, but Cam Atkinson leveled the score two minutes later.

The second period was silent, but Tom Wilson recorded his seventh goal in the third period, a backhander from the bottom six. The Caps added insurance with a power-play goal ostensibly by Matt Niskanen but tapped in by TJ Oshie. Nick Backstrom secured an empty netter to hit the 20-goal mark and make Swedish heritage night just a bit sweeter.

Caps beat Blue Jackets 4-1! The Caps have won the Presidents’ Trophy!

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Caps vs Blue Jackets Pregame: One Point from the Prez

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The Caps got stomped by the Blues on Saturday night. Defensive breakdowns (and bad shooting/saving percentages) sunk a decent effort, so the Caps will try again tonight against the Blue Jackets, who, I’m told, are a totally different team than the Blues. I’m not so sure, but I guess we’ll find out tonight at 7 PM on CSN-DC.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 53-16-5 51.3% 101.4 22.8% (2nd) 84.6% (5th)
Columbus Blue Jackets 30-37-8 47.4% 99.4 17.1% (22nd) 81.0% (15th)

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Photo: Jamie Sabau

Braden Holtby earned his league-leading 30th win as the Capitals beat the Blue Jackets 6-3 on Tuesday night. Nicklas Backstrom scored twice, with Alex Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson, Jason Chimera and Andre Burakovsky also scoring. Evgeny Kuznetsov once again starred with a career-high four assists.

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Deal from Strength: Caps beat Blue Jackets 6-3

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If the Caps didn’t deal from strength, they would get crushed every time, that’s what I always say. Facing the Columbus Blue Jackets in enemy territory, Washington clinged to their guns, you betcha, refusing to lead from behind and definitely not pussy-footing around. Although they allowed the first goal, the Caps fought back their sovereignty. Evgeny Kuznetsov mastered the art of the deal, and Nick Backstrom made hockey great again.

To be sporting, Washington let Columbus score first, giving Kerby Rychel his first career NHL goal. Then it was the Caps’ turn. Nick Backstrom finished an impressive passing sequence by the first line, then Jason Chimera got served a tasty meal by Marcus Johansson.

Up a goal in the second period, the Caps kept pressing. On a four-minute power play, they struck twice– first by Alex Ovechkin from the Ovi spot and then from Nick Backstrom tipping in Kuznetsov’s pass. Boone Jenner scored, but we didn’t care because Andre Burakovsky struck back right after.

Ryan Murray scored in the third and I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care. Marcus Johansson got an empty-netter with 30 seconds left.

Caps beat Blue Jackets 6-3!

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Mute the Cannon

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Photo: NHL.com

The Caps visit Columbus for the second time in 2016, hoping for a better result this time around. Proving that hockey is random as all get out, the Caps lost to the Blue Jackets 5-4 in their meeting earlier this month.

The Jackets are still bad, the Caps are still good. The Jackets still have a terrible coach and that awful cannon whenever they score. Actually, the canon is objectively cool, but not tonight. Not against our Caps. Mute the cannon.

The game is at 7 on CSN. Someone, and by someone I mean Chris or Peter, will have your recap for you at the buzzer.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 34-8-3 52.0% 102.1 26.1% 85.2%
Columbus Blue Jackets 17-25-4 46.9% 99.3 17.5% 81.5%

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GIF Recap: Caps Lose in Shootout to Blue Jackets

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Photo: Jamie Sabau

The Capitals lost their first pair of back-to-back games this season falling 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night after losing to the Carolina Hurricanes on New Years Eve. TJ Oshie, Jason Chimera, Marcus Johansson, and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in regulation, but despite another highlight-reel shootout goal from Oshie the Caps couldn’t convert their remaining attempts, losing only their tenth game this season.

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Photo: Jamie Sabau

The Capitals made it nearly halfway through the 2015-16 NHL season without suffering back-to-back loses, winning nine straight games in December. But with Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, and Jay Beagle missing from the lineup, the Caps dropped two games in a row against two of the league’s worst teams. The games were close, with Brandon Saad scoring with just over a minute left to send Saturday’s game against Columbus to a shootout after the Capitals almost came back against Carolina on Thursday. Still, the loses are disappointing for a team that desperately wants to raise the Stanley Cup this year.

“It’s going to have to be better, it’s that simple,” goalie Braden Holtby, who took just his sixth loss of the season against Columbus, said.

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The Other Streak: Jackets Beat Caps 5-4 (SO)

Jamie Sabau

Photo: Jamie Sabau

After defeating the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to down one of the league’s top two teams for the second night in a row. They got right on that as Jack Johnson fired a power play marker from the Ovi spot just 1:32 into the game, the second quickest goal the Capitals have allowed this year.

The Caps evened up the score under six minutes later, when TJ Oshie converted on a slick pass from behind the net eight seconds into Washington’s opening power play. Forty-four seconds later, the Jackets took the lead again, with the Caps allowing a quick response goal like it’s 2014 all over again. Brandon Saad was all alone in front. But after Rene Bourque, who’s a jackass, took a phantom holding call, Washington’s power play got back to work. Evengy Kuznetsov did his thing, passing the puck off Jason Chimera’s stick and into the goal. Silly business.

In the second, the Capitals got another power play, but it was the Blue Jackets who converted. Brett Leonhardt, though, saved things from on high. The Capitals successfully challenged that ‘Lumbus was offside on the marker, the first time they’ve won a challenge this season. Later in the period, some great forechecking gave Tom Wilson the puck in the corner, who plopped it in Marcus Johansson’s lap for the go-ahead.

In the third, the power play struck again — this time for Columbus as Johnson added his second PP goal of the game. Just 40 second later, however, Kuznetsov converted on a two-on-one with Wilson to put the Caps back on top. It looked like the Caps were ready to start a new winning streak until Saad added his second of the game with just 1:08 to go. Uh oh.

After a flurry of OT PPs, the game went to a shootout.

Cam Atkinson was stoned by Holtby.

Oshie went slow-mo NHL 16 on Columbus’s ass.

Brandon Dubinsky fired a laser past Braden.

Ryan Johansson stopped and started and went top shelf on Braden Holtby.

Nicklas Backstrom was Washington’s last chance, but reserve netminder Anton Stralman closed the door for his first NHL win. Jackets beat Caps 5-4 (SO).

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Caps at Blue Jackets Pregame: Unreformed Torts

The Capitals went 19 days and 9 games without losing until the Carolina Hurricanes cracked the code on New Years Eve. On the back half of back-to-back games, with mounting injuries, blah play during 5v5, and a terrible performance by the second line, the Caps were bound to lose that game from the first puck drop.

Now, in a brand new year and with a bit of rest, the Caps are poised to start a new streak, starting with Lumbus, who are tortilly turrible.

Puck drops at 7 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 28-7-2 51.4% 102.0 25.2% 86.1%
Columbus Blue Jackets 14-22-0 47.2% 99.0 17.4% 81.2%

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GIF Recap: Caps Beat Blue Jackets With One Timers

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Photo: Patrick Smith

The Capitals got back to their winning ways Friday night, beating the Blue Jackets 2-1 at the Verizon Center. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie combined to score the game-winning goal on a perfectly executed three-on-one. New Caps acquisition Justin Williams also scored his second goal of the season.

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