Artemi Panarin scored a power-play goal with 1:30 left in overtime that gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory over the host Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
Nicklas Backstrom had been whistled for slashing just 12 seconds earlier, and that gave Columbus the extra man. Seth Jones slid a pass over to Panarin by the left circle, and he ripped a slap shot past goalie Pheonix Copley for the game-winner. It was Panarin’s second game-winning goal in overtime in the last two games as the Jackets on Thursday beat the Nashville Predators 4-3.
With consecutive OT victories, the Blue Jackets earned their eighth win in 11 games. Washington’s three-game winning streak came to an end.
Goalie Joonas Korpisalo made 32 saves for Columbus, repeatedly robbing the Capitals, especially during a third period when they came up with several scoring chances.
Also, for Columbus, there had been issues with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. There had been an incident after Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay in which the club scratched him for Thursday’s game against Nashville for disciplinary reasons.
But Bobrovsky met with management and talked to the team and came to Washington for this game. Still, he did not start, and backed up Korpisalo, but Bobrovsky told the Columbus media on Friday that the matter was fixed.
The Blue Jackets jumped on top early. Cam Atkinson was sprung by a long pass up the middle from Markus Nutivaara, then broke in alone on goalie Braden Holtby before beating him with a backhander one minute into the game.
Atkinson became the reason why the Capitals needed to pull Holtby 8:43 into the second period. The Columbus forward’s stick poked Holtby in the face or eye (through his mask), and the Washington goalie could not continue.
Copley (10 saves) came on for Holtby, and Atkinson was given a two-minute penalty for high-sticking. Washington’s struggling power play could not take advantage of it, and the game remained at 1-0.
The Capitals tried to increase the pressure on the Blue Jackets’ defense in the third period with longer stretch passes since Columbus kept stacking the neutral zone. Those helped Washington come up with several scoring chances, and Evgeny Kuznetsov tied it with 1:06 left after Copley was pulled for an extra attacker.
—Field Level Media