All good things must come to end. Braden Holtby stopped all 29 shots he faced, as the Washington Capitals shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0, snapping Columbus’ 16-game win streak. Five different Capitals scored a goal. The Blue Jackets’ winning streak ends just one shy of tying the NHL-record of 17 set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals got off to an early start as Daniel Winnik tapped in his sixth goal of the season 5:06 into the first period. Then John Carlson, who finished with one goal and one assist for the second consecutive game, beat Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky off a beautiful feed from Marcus Johansson 11:32 into the first to give Washington a 2-0 lead.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 6, 2017
Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt scored his first goal of the season, tapping in his own rebound to put Washington ahead 3-0 at the 12:32 mark of the second period. Alex Ovechkin was given an assist on the goal for his 996th career point, putting him four shy of 1,000.
Andre Burakovsky boasted before the game that “It’s going to be a really fun moment for us to end it.”
He backed his words up, as he buried the puck past Bobrovsky for the Capitals fourth goal of the game 16:28 into the second.
Justin Williams capped the scoring on the game in the third, going top shelf to extend the Capitals’ lead to five. Bobrovsky was pulled but the outcome was all but determined.
For Columbus (27-6-4, 58 points), the five-goal defeat was their worst of the season and first since Nov. 26. The Blue Jackets entered Thursday’s game allowing a league-best 2.0 goals per game. Nothing with
Washington (24-9-5, 53 points) now have won four straight thanks in large to an offensive surge. They have scored five or more goals in three of their last four games.
Just as great as the Capitals offense was, it’s defense was just as spectacular. They stifled the NHL’s second-ranked scoring offense. They also did a great job with their penalty kill versus the league’s top rated power play, blanking all five of the Blue Jackets’ power play opportunities.
For Holtby it was a game of redemption. He was coming off a dreadful performance in his last outing, as he allowed three goals on eight shots in the first period on Tuesday against Toronto. He was pulled in favor for backup goalie Philipp Grubauer — Washington rallied to win 6-5 in overtime. He bounced back by stopping all 29 shots he saw to record his fourth shutout of the season and his 27th of his career.