Capitals 3, Blue Jackets 2
Jose Theodore didn't get a lot of help after the Capitals jumped out to an early lead. But the Columbus Blue Jackets were a goal shy of a come back and the Caps earn an historic franchise record breaking 51st win and 23rd win on the road as they down the Jackets 3-2.
It started out well enough for the Caps, Alex Semin opened the scoring with a dazzling slap shot to beat the Blue Jacket goaltender Mathieu Garon. A Jacket defender stumbled allowing Semin the time to tee up the slapper that found room under Garon's arm and in the back of the net. It was Semin's 38th goal of the season.
The Caps would take advantage of some bad penalties by the Jackets and even though they didn't score on the power play, they did score just as Derick Brassard stepped out of the penalty box. Eric Fehr dug the puck out of the corner to Mike Knuble who chip passed it to an open Tomas Fleischmann who found the back of the net.
That goal would mark the end of Garon for the Jackets who surrendered 2 goals on just 4 shots. Steve Mason would take over from there, but the Jackets would once again take a couple of bad penalties giving the Caps a 5 on 3. This time the Caps would make good with the two man advantage as Mike Green scored his 19th of the season and set a career best in points at 74 points. Green would keep in the dump and pound the slap shot past Mason.
The Caps looked as if they were going to cruise against a non-playoff team, but the Blue Jackets would make special teams a wash as they scored shorthanded. After that the Caps played more on their heels rather than a team that made scoring 3 goals against the Blue Jackets an easy thing. Antoine Vermette's short handed goal, assisted by Rick Nash, would spark the Blue Jackets as they out shot the Capitals in the last two periods 27-16.
In steps Theodore, who made two great saves early in the second period to keep the Blue Jackets at bay. Theo looked calm and poised in net making some solid saves when the Caps defense were making mistake after mistake.
The Jackets made things interesting scoring after Tom Poti and Tyler Sloan both chased Nash behind the net, leaving the slot open. Nash found Vermette for their second set up of the game. The goal gave the Jackets confidence and they nearly scored on the following shift. Bruce Boudreau called a time out to calm his troops down. After that the Jackets found it hard to get shots in on Theodore.
It is a record winning game for the Caps, but they are still struggling scoring when they want to or playing sore defense allowing a team to stay in it. Alex Ovechkin continues struggle scoring goals. He had a few chances to get pucks on net, but he missed the net completely or had his shots blocked. He remains a goal behind Sidney Crosby for scoring lead and 3 points behind Henrik Sedin for points lead.
The Capitals will come home to face the Bruins, a team that is a possible first round match-up against the Caps. Then they will head to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins on the following night. Both games will be broadcasted on Versus.