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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 17th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (22-17-8) at Columbus Blue Jackets (22-20-4), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Columbus Blue Jackets will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season to five games when they host the struggling Washington Capitals in Friday's battle at Nationwide Arena.

Columbus has won four straight games and is one victory away from matching the club's longest winning streak from last season. The Blue Jackets also are only two consecutive victories shy of tying the franchise record of six straight wins, which was set from March 24-April 3, 2006.

The Blue Jackets should be well rested heading into Friday's game, as they've been idle since picking up their fifth win in six games on Monday when they defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

The 3-2 regulation win over the Lightning was Columbus' eighth victory in 11 tries. The recent surge has moved the Blue Jackets within four points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington is currently occupying the eighth seed with 52 points.

Columbus trailed 2-1 heading into the third period on Monday, but Nathan Horton and Mark Letestu each notched power-play goals over the final 20 minutes to help lift the Jackets to victory. Horton tied the contest 3:09 into the third period and Letestu recorded the game-winner with just 2:38 left.

Letestu's big tally came after Tampa's Tyler Johnson went off for hooking with just under four minutes remaining and after a few opportunities on the man advantage, the hosts converted. Jack Johnson launched a shot from the point and Letestu redirected the shot to beat Anders Lindback.

"It seemed like we were fighting the whole first period on our power plays. We got it when it mattered and counts. We needed the power plays at the end there and those were big goals," said Horton.

Ryan Johansen supplied the other goal, while Johnson had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who have won three of their last four at home and are 11-9-2 in Columbus this season.

Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 26 shots to win his fifth straight start. Bobrovsky is 3-0 since returning from a month-long absence due to a groin strain on Jan. 6. With Columbus playing tonight and on Saturday in Buffalo, the club's No. 1 goaltender could get a rest in one of those two games.

Bobrovsky is 1-1-2 with a 2.63 goals against average in five career games against Washington. Backup Curtis McElhinney is 4-3-1 with a 2.42 GAA in eight lifetime starts versus the Caps.

Columbus has yet to defeat the Capitals this season, going 0-1-1 in the first two of four scheduled meetings this season between the Metropolitan Division foes. However, both of those previous encounters in 2013-14 were staged in D.C.

Washington has won five straight overall against the Blue Jackets, but the Caps enter Friday's tilt having lost three straight and seven of their last nine games.

After losing two straight games in shootouts, the Capitals were left without a point following Wednesday's entertaining 4-3 loss in Pittsburgh. Washington held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the game, but couldn't prevent the Penguins from setting a franchise record with their 13th straight home win.

The game was tied at 2-2 heading into the final 20 minutes before Alex Ovechkin gave the Capitals a one-goal lead with his NHL-leading 34th goal of the season at the 8:35 mark. However, Jussi Jokinen tallied three minutes later for the Pens and Olli Maatta scored the eventual game-winning goal with 1:54 remaining in the third.

The regulation setback dropped Washington to 2-3-4 over their last nine games. The Caps also fell to 8-9-4 on the road, a mark that pales in comparison to the club's 14-8-4 mark on home ice.

Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera supplied the other goals for Washington, which got 33 saves from Michal Neuvirth.

"We figured out a way to get a lead in the third against a fresher team and we didn't sustain it and you have to be able to," said Washington head coach Adam Oates.

The Caps are playing the second of three straight on the road. The three-game swing is part of a stretch that has Washington playing eight of nine games away from the nation's capital.

01/17 10:37:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI