Backstrom’s late goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets, 3-2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom scored the winning goal with 43 seconds left, Braden Holtby made 37 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Brandon Dubinsky tied the score for Columbus late in the third period and the game appeared headed to overtime before Backstrom jumped on a pass from T.J. Oshie and beat Sergei Bobrovsky for his 200th career goal.

John Carlson and Tom Wilson also scored as the Capitals rallied to break a two-game skid and hang onto first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Bobrovsky had 22 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and nine of 11. They’re still in playoff contention, but so are all the teams in the division.

Washington (31-17-5) won the first leg of a home-and-home this week with Columbus (27-22-4).

David Savard got his fourth goal of the season 1:58 into the game with a rocket from the high slot that beat Holtby.

It took the Caps only about three minutes to even the score, taking advantage of one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the NHL. Carlson got his eight goal of the season on a power play with a hard one-timer from beyond the right circle.

Wilson gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second. Skating fast into the slot, he got a crisp pass from Alex Ovechkin and tapped a backhand between Bobrovsky’s pads before the goalie could get all the way down to the ice.

One the other end, Holtby was solid. The Blue Jackets outshot Washington 17-7 in the second period, going hard to the net repeatedly, but were unable to get the puck to bounce their way.

NOTES: Josh Anderson and Wilson threw off their gloves and slugged each other briefly until Anderson went to the ice in the first period. Both got five minutes in the box. … Evgeny Kuznetsov, with a secondary assist on Wilson’s goal, has seven points in the last five games. … D Taylor Chorney and forward Chandler Stephenson were scratches for the Capitals. … The Blue Jackets scratched D Scott Harrington and forward Markus Hannikainen.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Hosts Columbus on Friday.

Blue Jackets: At Washington on Friday.