Last-minute goal helps Blue Jackets outlast Capitals


Tom Wilson tied the game at 4 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation, but Boone Jenner would score the game-winner less than two minutes later as the Capitals fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday 5-4.

Here are some observations from the game.

Tom Wilson to the rescue? Not so fast

The Caps were 2:26 away from losing when Wilson collected a botched clearing attempt from Vladislav Gavrikov and hit the back of the net. The goal is Wilson's 14th of the season and it looked like it would salvage at least a point for Washington. It didn't.

Just 1:41 later, Gustav Nyquist set up Jenner with a great past in front and he was able to deke goalie Ilya Samsonov for the backhanded goal and the 5-4 lead and the eventual win.

With the loss, the Caps are still in search of their first regulation win at home in the year 2022. Washington is now 5-8-2 in the new year including a 2-6-1 record at home.

More goalie woes

For the third straight game, the Caps' starting goalie did not make it through the full game. Pheonix Copley made his first NHL start since April 6, 2019 with Vitek Vanecek injured and COVID testing issues keeping Ilya Samsonov from getting on the ice prior to Tuesday. He was good early on, but his night ended early in the third after conceding a soft goal to Columbus rookie Trey Fix-Wolansky who was playing in his first career NHL game. Copley allowed four goals on 19 shots.

Copley's rough night further highlights the inconsistency the Caps have dealt with between the pipes all season. In the two games prior to the All-Star break, Vitek Vanecek was injured in a start against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Samsonov came in and was brilliant making 43 saves on 45 shots. He started the next night against the Edmonton Oilers and was pulled after allowing three goals in four shots.

One step forward, two steps back for the special teams

Washington did manage to score on the power play Tuesday, but the Caps still lost the special teams battle as they gave up two power-play tallies to the Blue Jackets.

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a wrister from the faceoff circle, giving Washington their seventh power-play goal in 15 games. The power play is slowly starting to produce again, but it wasn't enough on Tuesday as the team still went just 1-for-4 on the night. The penalty kill is also quickly becoming a concern. Though Washington's penalty kill was at 79.0% for the season coming into the game, it was only 71.1% since Jan. 1 and gave up two goals on three opportunities to Columbus.

In a one-goal game, giving the Blue Jackets a one-goal advantage on special teams was definitely one of the deciding factors of the game.

The fourth line tallies twice

Carl Hagelin, Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway were a force in this one as the line tallied the force two goals of the game.

If you know the basics of hockey, you know you are supposed to follow your shot on net. Hathaway had his shot blocked but followed in on net anyway and was in the right place when the rebound of a Dowd shot bounced right to him.

Early in the second, Dowd extended the team's lead to 2-0 as he had a pass bounce off the skate of Oliver Bjorkstrand and into the net.

Ovechkin snaps point drought

It's rare to see lengthy point streaks from the Great 8. Coming into this game, he was in the midst of a four-game points drought, but he managed to snap that with an assist on Kuznetsov's power-play tally.

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