The Columbus Blue Jackets hot start to the season has come to a screeching halt, as of lately, going 3-6-1 in their last ten games. This past week, they went 1-2-0, losing both games to the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals. The Jackets have also slipped out of playoff position after comfortably being in the top three in the Metro all year long.
Washington Capitals @ Columbus Blue Jackets (02/06/18)
The first of three for Columbus this week came in the comfort of Nationwide Arena. The game, however, came down to the final buzzer.
David Savard opened the scoring for Columbus just 1:58 into the game. Alexander Wennberg fed Savard a pass in the slot and he wristed it home to give the Jackets an early lead. That was the defenseman’s fourth goal in 54 games this season.
Less than three minutes after the Jackets’ defenseman goal, a Capitals’ defenseman struck right back. A John Carlson howitzer of a one-timer from the point evened the game at one apiece on the power play. Carlson is a former Indiana hockey player, playing for the USHL’s Indiana Ice, which is now the ECHL’s Indy Fuel.
Exactly five minutes into the second period, Capitals power forward Tom Wilson found the back of the net. It was a very athletic play that started with a great feed from NHL great Alexander Ovechkin.
With just over six minutes remaining in regulation time, Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky tied the game after burying his own rebound. It started on a great pass from defenseman Markus Nutivaara. Dubinsky’s goal was just his fourth of the season after missing a significant amount of time with an eye injury.
It seemed as if the game would be heading to overtime. That is until Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom found the back of the net for the 200th time in his career. This goal came with 43 seconds to go in the final period and would end up being the game-winner, as the Blue Jackets dropped this tilt 3-2.
Columbus Blue Jackets @ Washington Capitals (02/09/18)
The Blue Jackets headed to the nation’s capital with revenge on their minds after losing the last one against the Capitals with 43 seconds remaining.
Once again, Carlson found the back of the net for Washington first, to give the Capitals an early 1-0 lead. The assist came from forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, which was his 37th of the year. He is currently 16th in the league in the assists column.
Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois found the back of the net a little over a minute later to tie the game. That was the Quebec native’s 11th of the season.
With two seconds remaining in the opening frame, Kuznetsov reacquired the one-goal lead for Washington. His goal came with feeds from Lars Eller and Matt Niskanen.
The second period started with what the Blue Jacket’s faithful would call the ‘Breadman’. Columbus leading point scorer Artemi Panarin netted his 14th of the season 27 seconds into the second period on an assist from defensemen point leader Seth Jones.
The Capitals would then net two quick ones right after the Panarin tally, one coming on the man advantage. Washington forward Jay Beagle scored the first one and then Eller would put home the power-play tally 1:28 later.
There would be no more scoring in this game, as the Blue Jackets would drop two straight to the surging Washington Capitals.
New Jersey Devils @ Columbus Blue Jackets (02/10/18)
The Blue Jackets returned home to Columbus the next day to try to end a five-game losing streak.
The scoring started late in the first period as Dubois put his name on the scoresheet under the goals column for the 12th time this season off an assist from Panarin.
Midway through the second period, it was Panarin’s turn to find the back of the net. He did so and it was the 15th time he put the rubber biscuit past a goaltender this season.
The next two goals would allow the Blue Jackets to score three goals in 3:09. These goals would extend the Columbus lead to four goals. These goals were tallied by leading goal scorer Josh Anderson and sniper Oliver Bjorkstrand. The Anderson goal was assisted by forward Boone Jenner and, most notably, Vezina-winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. This was, surprisingly, Bobrovsky’s second assist of the season.
Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert extended the Columbus lead to 5-0 and 6-0, respectively, in the third period. Calvert’s goal was scored on the power play and was the only goal in the game scored on the special teams unit.
Finally, Devils forward Kyle Palmieri found the back of the net for New Jersey late in the third period. This goal would be the final one of a seven-goal night, all of which mostly scored by the home team.