Caps Survive Scare in Columbus, Win 5-3

Posted March 3, 2015

Tom Wilson and Joel Ward after the game. via Tom Wilson 

The Washington Capitals survived a late push from the Blue Jackets after Marcus Johansson was called for a questionable delay of game penalty in the last 2 minutes of play, giving Columbus a chance before the Caps held on for a 5-3 win.

Alexander Ovechkin began the scoring his 42nd goal of the season at 3:07 of the 1st period with a deflection off a Brooks Orpik shot. From there the Caps took over the period, out-shooting the Jackets by a wide margin and with a late period rebound goal from Eric Fehr. The beginning of the period proved to be just as action-packed when David Savard and Tom Wilson traded goals just 48 seconds apart. Scott Hartnell had a late 2nd period goal to pull within one of the Caps.

Previous games against the Jackets have always yielded a great deal of tension, so it was only right that there were 4 fights in the game which included Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, Jason Chimera, and Troy Brouwer. Latta took a dangerous, high hit from Jared Boll which resulted in a huge scrum and a fighting/instigator penalty for Wilson. Latta was reported to have a upper body injury and did not return to the game.

Ovechkin took back the 2 goal lead broken in the 2nd by scoring his 43rd the season off a sick feed from  Backstrom, who consequently tied Ovechkin on the Caps all time assists leaderboard with his league leading 49th assist. From there the game continued to be chippy but momentum shifted in favor of the Jackets, after they spent the remainder of the period peppering Holtby with shots.

After an iffy icing call on the Caps, Nicklas Backstrom lined up to take the face-off to the left of Braden Holtby. Backstrom and his linemates had been on the ice for too long and were in desperate need of a change. Johansson had a broken stick and tried to show it to the referees but the stick broke even further and a PP was awarded to the Jackets for delay of game. The Jackets fought to get the tying goal and pulled Sergei Bobrovsky for a 6 on 4. But Johansson was able to get of the box just in time to get the empty net insurance goal to end the game.

Ovechkin and Backstrom both recorded multi point games tonight and are tied for the league lead in points at 67. Holtby continued his exceptional play and earned his 31st win of the season. The Caps fly back home tonight to prepare for a visit from the Minnesota Wild on Thursday and begin a 5 game homestead.