Capitals score 4 goals in the 2nd, beat Blue Jackets 6-2
Jan 5, 2023, 4:41 AM | Updated: 7:21 pm
(AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — T.J. Oshie scored twice and the Washington Capitals used a four-goal second period to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-2 on Thursday night for their franchise-record seventh straight road victory.
Washington has won 12 of its last 15 games, with points in eight straight. Columbus has lost nine of its last 10.
Oshie, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Martin Fehervary and Garnet Hathaway scored in the second period, and Oshie and Alex Ovechkin added third-period goals. Dylan Strome contributed three assists, Evgeny Kuznetsov had two helpers, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 25 shots.
Johnny Gaudreau and Gavin Bayreuther scored for Columbus, and Emil Bemstrom had two assists. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 31 shots in his first start since Dec. 13.
“I can’t explain the second period,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “Guys are pushing–they seemed to turn it on a little bit as that game went on. They seemed to keep pushing the whole way.”
Columbus carried a 1-0 lead out of the first period after Gaudreau scored at 5:19 for his first goal in 10 games.
Washington then showed why it is the NHL’s best second-period team, outscoring opponents 58-35.
Oshie, who missed six games with an injury, buried the Capitals’ first goal at 1:51, followed by Aube-Kubel, scoring for the first time the season, and Fehervary, who was back after missing 12 games to injury.
Hathaway notched Washington’s fourth goal with 1:03 left.
“They’ve got some big bodies,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “The second period gets tough, because you can’t change. We got locked in there a few times. Guys are dying on the vine.”
Bayreuther added a Blue Jackets second-period score at 12:59, but his second of the night was waved off at 4:43 of the third for off-sides.
Oshie extended the Capitals lead to three goals with a power-play score at 6:41 of the third, and Ovechkin used a one-timer on the power-play to make it 6-2.
“Hockey’s pretty fun when you score 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 goals in a game,” Strome said. “I think we’ve been doing the right things to create those chances. Whether it’s off the rush or in the O-Zone, guys have done that. We’ve created a lot of chances. The second period, I think the floodgates have started to open a little bit and they’ve been going in, so I think we need to keep getting guys to the net and keep shooting the puck.”
Eric Robinson, who left Columbus’ loss to Ottawa with an upper body injury, did not play. Capitals Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom did not travel to Columbus but are close to making their season debuts. Backstrom underwent hip resurfacing surgery June 2 and Wilson had surgery to repair a torn ACL on May 25.
The Capitals’ Nic Dowd did not travel to Columbus to be with his wife, Paige, after the birth Wednesday of Ruby, the couple’s second child.
LONG TIME COMING
Bayreuther’s goal was his first in 57 games, having last scored May 7, 2021, vs. Detroit.
In his last six games, Ovechkin has nine goals. His 1,458 points (809-649) lifted him past Teemu Selanne (1,457) for 16th in NHL history. Evgeny Kuznetsov’s assist on Oshie’s second goal extended his point streak to seven games (2-9). Anthony Mantha’s assist on Hathaway’s goal extended his point streak to three games (1-2). Hathaway has five goals in 12 career games against the Blue Jackets.
Capitals: Host Nashville on Friday night.
Blue Jackets: Host Carolina on Saturday night.
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