banner

NHL

more stats

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

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Canes fall to Montreal in J. Staal's return, 3-1
Oilers win NHL draft lottery, Canes to pick fifth

The Edmonton Oilers won the NHL draft lottery and the right to select Erie Otters star center Connor McDavid with the top pick.

Related Stories
  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Toyota Owner's 400

    Tonight at 7:00 on FOX50

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Tonight at 7:30 on WRAL-2

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: NY Yankees at NY Mets

    Today at 4:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NASL: RailHawks at Indy Eleven

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 HD3 The Ticket

  • CBSB: Duke vs. Virginia Tech

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CLE
1:10pm Today
CIN
CHC
2:10pm Today
CWS 0
KAN 0
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
4:05pm Today
NYY
NYM
4:10pm Today
MIA
WAS
6:10pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
BOS
7:10pm Tonight
MIL
STL
8:10pm Tonight
ARI
PIT
8:10pm Tonight
COL
SFG
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
9:10pm Tonight
SEA
MIN
3:00pm Today
BRK
ATL
5:30pm Tonight
MIL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
POR
MEM
3:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
6:00pm Tonight
TAM
DET
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NAS
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
GWI