Caps vs. Blue Jackets In-Game Blog

We'll give this a try for tonight. Game just started and my Direc TV feed for the game has gone out. Just as the puck was dropped.

Caps going for a club-record 51st win tonight and to drop their magic number to one point in the quest for the President's Trophy.

Jason Chimera returns to Columbus after being traded to the Caps just after Christmas. He has 33 combined points for both teams this year. Okay. The video is back. Here we go ...

First Period
My feed is out again. It's a Comcast SportsNet techincal issue. Unbelievable.

Ok we're back now.

Matthieu Perreault sent back to Hershey and Chimera bumped up to third line again. Thedore huge save on Nash with about 14:45 left. Columbus was buzzing. Bad turnover by Belanger. Huselius steals and feeds Nash who is on the doorstep. Theo up to the challenge.

Semin with a rocket from top of the circles for a 1-0 Washington lead. Great passing Fleischman to Semin to Laich back to Semin...defense scrambling way too much time for the sniper. Semin with points in 6 of his last 7. Fleischmann centering Semin and Laich with B. Morrison still out.

Garon 6-0-4 in goal on home ice this year. Now trailing 1-0. Semin's goal was on a slapshot. A rarity for him. Semin's 38th from Laich and Sloan. Interesting second assist. Thought for sure it was Fleischmann.

Semin's goal ties his career high. He's really picked it up of late with Ovechkin scoring just four goals in the past 15 contests. About 12 minutes to go first period ...

Chimera pulled down on a semi-breakaway. Puck ends up in the net. No possession. Should be a goal. Puck in when whistle blew.

Garon shaken up on the play. Puck was definitely in. Will they review? Was the net still on when it was in? Yes.

Ruling was that Garon had possession. Huh? Puck hit him and went in the net. Amazing the things they come up with in "Toronto." Bad call. Ref missed it to begin with and they covered for him. Not what replay's supposed to be about.

Caps' power play: good pressure. A couple of good chances. Semin and Laich. High stick takes faceoff all the way back in Caps' end. Caps pp at 25.6 percent to lead the league. Caps have never led NHL in pp pct. and have never done better than 25 percent for a season.

Fleischmann from Knuble at 10:42 makes it 2-0. Outnumbered the D down low, Knuble and Fehr great work, Vermette caght in no-man's land. Fleischmann gets even-strength goal.

Fleischmann has largely been a non-factor in recent weeks, but has been in the thick of things after being moved back to center tonight. Seems to like possessing the puck and creating. Definitely his best effort in a while thus far.

Mason relieves Garon with 9 min. left in first pd. Four shots faced, 2 GA. Mason shut out the Caps twice last year. Surprised he wasn't the starter tonight. Caps could not figure him out a year ago.

Scoring chances are 5-3 in favor of Caps. Two good chances for CBJ, second results in goaltender interference. Blue Jackets not happy. Brassard for goalie interference. Call is charging. Brassard says he was pushed by Semin. Might have a point. PP for Caps.

Roughing call now vs. Methot. Now 5 on 3 for Caps. 7:11 left in first.

Mason huge save. Another on Backstron. Green rocket from point makes it 3-0 after bad clear by Jackets. Mason screened. Tyutin clear gloved by Green. Caps have 5 on 4 for 55 more seconds.

Tables turn quickly Nash to Vermette on 2 on 1 for shortie vs. Caps to make it 3-1. Much-needed for CBJ. 23 seconds after Green goal. Caps on PP 30 more seconds.

Sixth shortie of year for Jackets. Penalty killed 5:11 left in first.

Fade pattern from Tyutin to Nash for breakaway, hooked by Sloan. Nash didn't have possession so no penalty shot. Tough call. Looks like a stick lift.

Seemed like a great play by Sloan on Nash. Textbook stick check. 1:19 left. Good kill by caps so far. Great work by Laich. He makes a big difference for this team. Very undervalued. Should be a Selke candidate, but won't be.

Caps kill penalty final minute of play. Jackets good pressure at the end. Period ends. Caps outshoot 11-9. Pretty even territorial battle so far. Stat of the day from @TheRussianMachine on Twitter: Fleischmann 4-0 on faceoffs in first period in return to center.

Second Period
Game on. Knuble in front for Fleischmann first chance of period. Too tight to Mason, who poke checks. Fleischmann active again. Big save by Thedore, rebound control and cover. Caps D continues to sit back and allow a lot of time and space. Vermette and Nash got rebound shots. CBJ up 5-1 in shots this period.

Chimera close to scoring again on in-tight feed from Green.

Joe Corvo has slowly been adapting to playing with the Caps. Has struggled somewhat on defensive coverages, but last half of Atlanta game and tonight has looked better.

Brassard hits post after turnover and bad Caps transition. Jackets picking it up qite a bit. Caps on their heels. 13:50 left.

Another 4-2 for Columbus. Second one in last three minutes. That is poor backchecking, not poor play by defensemen.

I digress. Butler leads MSU 50-46 with 1:18 left.

Jackets another odd-man rush. Moore can't connect and then another goalie interference call puts Caps on the pp. 10:21 left. Jackets kill it.

Theodore robs Brassard. He's been the best player on the ice this period - Brassard, that is. Many chances. Yet another odd-man rush for Columbus. Caps forwards are just not doing the job on the back check. It's going to come back to haunt them if they don't tighten up. Theodore has been solid.

Game has settled down. 3:32 left. Butler leads MSU by two with 2.0 seconds. Left. Butler wins! Back to hockey.

Semin great shot on feed by Semin shoots wide. Needs to bury that one. Fleischmann makes a pass on another chance when he should have shot. Puck goes wide. Laich wearing full face shield and will have to for the next two weeks. Apparently he's not happy about it.

Caps lead, 3-1, after 2. All sorts of action in the first. Not so much in the second. Decent number of chances both ways. Columbus carried play until the last five minutes or so. See if Washington forwards clamp down in third and help the D close it out. Shots for the period were 14-5 in favor of Columbus and 23-16 for the game.

Third Period
If Caps hang on they'll have team records for road points and road wins. Jackets on the power play less than a minute in. Shaone Morrisson takes a trip and it's now a 5 on 3 for Columbus. Terrible, undisciplined start for Caps. Just awful.

Jackets call time to give pp a rest. I guess they feel they have to score here to have a chance. Caps lead in blocked shots 12-4. 5 on 3 winds down and Caps have 2-on-1 and Poti stopped by Mason. Good action as CBJ comes back at them. Laich great diving break up.

Caps kill both penalties very nicely.

John Carlson out again tonight with a mid or lower body injury. Second straight game. Also missed the third period of the Flames game. Hook vs. Jackets. Caps on pp with a chance to ice this one.

Pretty good puck movement by Caps on power play but no great chances. Three seconds left on pp, 13:20 in game.

Great chance for Huselius. He fires over the net. Columbus great shift vs. Caps first line, but nothing to show for it. Inside the final 10 minutes.

Vermette scores his second. Wide open in front. Defensive breakdown. Great feed from Nash. Sloan and Poti played Nash, leaving Vermette open. No help from Backstrom in front. Poor defensive coverage. Great roof shot by Vermette.

Umberger with a great chance after the faceoff. Theodore strong save. Caps call timeout. Just not getting it done in their own end.

Fehr draws a trip on Umberger with hard work cycling out of the corner. This line has been strong tonight. Umberger had a long shift and got caught reaching.

Green hits post from in-close.

5 minutes left in game, 45 seconds in penalty. Strong, aggressive kill thus far. All but two seconds killed as Mason gloves Fleishmann shot. No goals allowed by Mason since relieving Garon in first.

Caps fourth line on to grind out some time - Steckel, Bradley, Laing doing their jobs. 3:37 left.

Approaching one minute left. Mason can't get out of the net. Good job by Caps keeping it deep.

Caps hang on and magic number is one. Pretty good defensive work the last four minutes. Franchise record 51st win. Record for road wins and road points. Theodore strong with 34 saves after a couple tough outings a week ago. Can clinch President's Trophy with a win, overtime/shootout loss or any loss by San Jose.