Blue Jackets 4, Capitals 3, OT
A late rally enabled the Washington Capitals to draw even with the host Columbus Blue Jackets in Wednesday’s NHL pre-season game a Nationwide Arena, but the Caps ultimately absorbed a 4-3 overtime setback.
Ex-Capital Alexandre Giroux bit the hand that once fed him with a game-winning power play strike in overtime, a one-timer from the right circle that flew past Caps goaltender Philipp Grubauer
Washington got on the board first when Jeff Halpern
’s intended centering feed bounced off Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason and dribbled into the cage at 12:42 of the first.
The Jackets answered back less than a minute later when first-year pro Cam Atkinson took a feed from Columbus captain Rick Nash and beat Caps goalie Braden Holtby
in a one-on-one situation.
With 4:05 remaining in the middle frame, Columbus went on top on a shorthanded strike from Maksim Mayorov. R.J. Umberger fed Mayorov perfectly on a 2-on-1 rush, and the freshman forward chipped the puck up and over Holtby to enable the Jackets to take a 2-1 lead into the room for the second intermission.
Grubauer took over in goal for Holtby in the third, a move Caps coach Bruce Boudreau said he planned on making only if Washington trailed going into the third.
Columbus defenseman David Savard nicked Grubauer for a goal at 7:37 of the third to put the home team up 3-1. Savard’s one-timer from center point bled through Grubauer and trickled into the net behind him.
Washington’s late surge first bore fruit at 17:34 when Mathieu Perreault
carved his way into the attack zone and flipped a perfect feed to Andrew Carroll, playing in his first NHL pre-season contest. Carroll fired the puck past Mason to draw Washington within one.
Boudreau pulled Grubauer and called his timeout in the game’s penultimate minute. Halpern won a face-off at the opposing line and helped get the puck deep in the Columbus zone. Joel Ward
collected it behind the cage, and found Roman Hamrlik
with time and space just above the left circle. The veteran Czech blueliner let loose of a blast that beat Mason to the short side and evened the score at 3-3 with just 1:03 remaining in regulation.
Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz
was detected for holding a minute into the extra session, and Giroux’s game-winner came with 24 seconds left on the Schultz call.
Washington travels to Chicago on Friday where it will face the Blackhawks at United Center.
Ex-Blue Jacket Jason Chimera
wore the captain’s “C” for the Wednesday game in Columbus. Roman Hamrlik
and Matt Hendricks
each sported the alternate captains’ “A.”
Nearly a year ago (Sept. 22), Hendricks was in camp on a tryout agreement. He traveled with the Caps to Columbus hoping to open some eyes and did so with a flourish. Playing on a line with Marcus Johansson
and Andrew Gordon, Hendricks notched a hat trick that night in a 6-2 Washington win over the Jackets and went a long way toward cementing an opening night roster spot for himself.
A year later in the same barn, Hendricks is wearing a letter and is set to start a two-year contract with the Caps in 2011-12.
The Cutting Edge –
Prior to their Wednesday afternoon departure for Ohio’s capital city, the Capitals made a series of roster parings.
Goaltender Brandon Anderson
and forward Stanislav Galiev
were returned to their respective junior hockey teams in the CHL.
Nine players were assigned directly to Hershey’s AHL training camp: defensemen Paul Baier, Phil Oreskovic and Dustin Stevenson
and forwards David deKastrozza, Boyd Kane, Maxime Lacroix, Graham Mink, Garrett Mitchell
and Danick Paquette
Three more players were assigned to Hershey, but must first clear waivers: defenseman Zach Miskovic
and forwards Francois Bouchard
and Kyle Greentree
By The Numbers –
Halpern and Mattias Sjogren
were each 11-for 17 (65%) from the face-off circle on the night. The Caps won 36 of 60 (60%) draws in the game … Dennis Wideman
and Chris Bourque paced the Caps with four shots on goal each … Wideman led all skaters on both sides with 27:32 in ice time. Hamrlik’s 5:44 in power play ice time paced all skaters on both sides … Halpern rolled up 3:03 in shorthanded ice time to pace the Capitals … Washington outhit Columbus 26-16 on the night, with Christian Hanson
leading the way with five hits … Washington outshot the Jackets 30-24 on the night and 12-3 in the first frame.