EditorsNote: Changed headline; Corrected Columbus’ record in 1-goal games this season (6th graf)
Anthony Duclair scored the tiebreaking power-play goal 5:09 into the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the host Washington Capitals 2-1 Friday night.
In the first meeting between the teams since the first round of last spring’s playoffs when Washington beat Columbus in six games, the Blue Jackets scored two power-play goals for the third time this season.
Duclair snapped a 1-1 tie thanks to some well-placed positioning and luck. As the Blue Jackets maintained possession on their third man advantage, Duclair headed to the right side of the net and was guarded by Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen.
Duclair received the feed from Artemi Panarin, and from a sharp angle near the right side of the net Duclair lifted a shot as Niskanen defended without a stick as the puck went over Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby’s right shoulder.
Bobrovsky preserved the lead by getting a piece of Alexander Ovechkin’s one-timer with about a minute remaining, then made a blocker save on Nicklas Backstrom with about 20 seconds left when Washington had a two-man advantage after pulling Holtby on a power play.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, who filled in for Cam Atkinson (illness), also scored for the Blue Jackets, who upped their record to 4-0-1 in one-goal games this season.
Niskanen scored on the power play for Washington, which lost its first one-goal game in regulation and was unable to win three straight for the first time this season.
Holtby made 34 saves for the Capitals, including point-blank stops on Boone Jenner and Josh Anderson shortly before Columbus went ahead again.
Bjorkstrand made it 1-0 with 2:44 left in the first period when Nick Foligno made a no-look pass through the slot. After getting the pass, Bjorkstrand scored by putting a wrist shot from the right circle by Holtby’s stick.
The Capitals tied it 7:53 into the second when Backstrom whipped a cross-ice pass to Niskanen, whose rising slap shot from above the left circle sailed over Bobrovsky’s glove.
The Capitals return to the ice Sunday at home against the Arizona Coyotes. The Blue Jackets host the New York Rangers Saturday night.
—Field Level Media