Blue Jackets score early and often, beat Capitals 5-1
Columbus scored four goals in the first period — two of them on power plays — in winning their second game in three days and the first in four tries against the Capitals this season. Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, and Sonny Milano and Mark Letestu — acquired by the Blue Jackets in a trade Sunday — also tallied.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 25 saves for the Blue Jackets, who held onto the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with a knot of teams still in contention.
Alex Ovechkin got his league-leading 39th goal for Washington. Braden Holtby had 12 saves for the Capitals in the first period, and Philipp Grubauer had 18 in the last two.
In the opening period, 14 seconds after Washington’s Dmitri Orlov went to the penalty box for holding, Jones backhanded a pass to Panarin, who rifled a shot from the left circle for his team-leading 18th goal of the season.
The Capitals took about 1 minutes to even it, with Ovechkin scoring a power-play goal from the left circle. Fifty-six seconds later, Alexander Wennberg centered up a shot for Milano, who delivered a spinning backhander from the slot to put Columbus up 2-1.
Letestu made it 3-1 at with 5:28 left in the period when he buried a puck that Matt Calvert had shoveled out from behind the goal line. Jones went up over Holtby’s shoulder with a power-play goal from the deep slot late in the period to give the Blue Jackets a three-goal lead at the first intermission.
Atkinson capped the scoring for Columbus with a short-handed, empty-net goal late in the third period.
NOTES: Ovechkin played in his 984th game for Washington, passing Calle Johansson for the most in franchise history. He has five goals and an assist in the last five games. … Jones’ assist on Panarin’s goal was his 100th point with the Blue Jackets. … Milano scored his first goal since Dec. 29 after missing 18 games to injury and rehab. … Letestu is the sixth player to have two separate stints with the Blue Jackets. … D Taylor Chorney, who was claimed off waivers from Washington last week, was a scratch for Columbus. … The four-goal first period was the first of the season for the Blue Jackets. … Panarin has three goals and three assists in the last five games.
Washington: Hosts Ottawa on Tuesday.
Columbus: Plays at Los Angeles on Thursday.
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