COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Cam Atkinson scored two goals and Sergei
Bobrovsky continued his hot streak to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets
past the Washington Capitals 5-1 on Friday night for their fifth
The Capitals, who got a goal from John Carlson, have lost four in a row and 11 of 15.
Ryan Johansen added a goal and assist, James Wisniewski had a goal,
Mark Letestu scored for the fifth time in six games and Jack Johnson had
two assists for the Blue Jackets, who had lost their past five meetings
The victory moved the Blue Jackets to two points out of playoff
position with at least one game in hand on every team ahead of them in
the Metropolitan Division and wild-card playoff races.
Bobrovsky, who came in 5-0-0 with a 1.45 goals-against average and a
.954 save percentage in his past five starts, had 26 saves. He stood
tall to frustrate the Capitals when the game was still up for grabs.
The Capitals came in tied with Pittsburgh for the best power-play
unit in the league. But it was the Blue Jackets who scored twice with a
At 12:08 of the first, Wisniewski one-timed a hard drive from the
point that climbed over Philipp Grubauer's glove. It was Wisniewski's
first power-play goal and fourth tally of the season.
In the final minute of the opening period, the Blue Jackets crowded the nets and benefited.
Matt Calvert got two whacks at the puck from the crease, Grubauer
deflecting each. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov then whiffed on an attempt to
clear the puck, with Atkinson hopping on it to lift the puck into the
net over a diving Grubauer for his 14th of the season.
The Blue Jackets stretched it to 3-0 at 1:44 of the second. R.J.
Umberger carried the puck through the neutral zone and then pulled up in
the right corner, sending a pass to the high slot for Johansen. He slid
laterally, waiting for an opening, before wristing a shot for his
team-high 18th of the season.
Grubauer was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots, replaced by Braden Holtby.
The Capitals got on the board at 8:53 on what appeared to be an innocent shot.
Carlson's shot from near the blue line that took a while to get to
the net, but it still beat Bobrovsky. It was the defenseman's eighth
goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets killed off two Washington power plays late in the
second period, including 18 seconds when the Capitals had a 5 on 3
Bobrovsky was at his best during this stretch. He twice stymied
Russian Olympic teammate Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL's leading scorer
with 34 goals, on power-play shots -- once on a one-timer from the left
dot and a second time when the Columbus defense broke down and the
three-time goal-scoring champ was all alone on a shot that Bobrovsky
deflected wide off his catcher.
Columbus then added two goals in the third. Letestu wired a wrister
inside the near post past Holtby on the power play. Then Atkinson used
his skate to settle a hard pass from close range, spun and whipped a
quick shot into the net from the high slot -- 3 seconds after the end of
an Ovechkin penalty.
Notes: Washington C Brooks Laich played in his 600th NHL game. ... It
was Columbus' Todd Richards 300th game as an NHL head coach. ... The
Blue Jackets have been off since Monday, while the Capitals were playing
their third game in four days. ... Columbus had a pair of five-game win
streaks in last year's shortened season.