Jenner’s last-minute goal lifts Blue Jackets past Caps 5-4
WASHINGTON (AP) — Boone Jenner scored his 19th goal with 44.4 seconds remaining and the Columbus Blue Jackets posted a wild 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.
Jenner scored less than two minutes after Washington’s Tom Wilson tied the game on a 6-on-5 chance. The Blue Jackets rallied from an early 2-0 deficit.
“Throughout the game, I don’t think we changed the way we played,” Jenner said. “Even when they scored to tie it, I think we just kept playing the same way. I think we stuck with it all night and got the result, obviously.”
Patrik Laine scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season, Trey Fix-Wolansky gave Columbus its first lead in his NHL debut and Adam Boqvist added a goal and an assist.
Laine also assisted Jenner’s winner, and Gustav Nyquist had two assists, providing the key pass leading to Jenner’s backhand finish past Ilya Samsonov.
Elvis Merzlikins made 29 stops for the Blue Jackets, who began a season-long, five-game road trip with their third consecutive road win.
Nic Dowd had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who lost their second in a row and for the fourth time in six games, all in regulation.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 15th goal of the season and Wilson had his 19th. Garnet Hathaway also scored as Washington remained fourth in the Metropolitan Division, 16 points ahead of fifth-place Columbus.
“It’s tough,” Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said. “The game has, there were a lot of roller coasters in it. There was ups and downs. There was good, there was bad. Offensively I thought we did some good things.”
Capitals all-time leading scorer Alex Ovechkin recorded his 30th assist in his return from the league’s COVID-19 protocol list.
With his team’s net empty, Wilson tied the game when he reached a loose puck not far in front of the crease after Vladislav Garikov’s poor clearance and wristed it past Merzlikins.
But as the Capitals pressured for a winner, they were caught out. Nyquist eventually found Jenner, who also had an assist, in close, and he scored past Samsonov.
“The third period was a war,” Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. “You know they were going to push. They get back in it, and Boone comes up with a big goal.”
Both of Laine’s goals came on second-period power plays, the latter from a faceoff that beat Washington’s Pheonix Copley glove side, tying it at 3-all with four seconds left.
At 2:40 into the third, Fix-Wolansky chased Copley when he squeezed a one-time shot between the goaltender’s pads and across the line.
“The coaches were telling me all night to shoot,” said the 22-year-old, who was an emergency recall Monday from AHL Cleveland as Emil Bemstrom was placed in COVID protocols. “I kind of heard the crowd roar a little bit so I knew the puck was behind him. ... And then I saw it go in. It was probably the most excitement I’ve ever had in my life.”
Blue Jackets: Have come from behind in 13 of their 21 victories. ... Conceded a power-play goal for just for the fifth time in 40 penalty kill opportunities. ... Laine has scored two goals in three consecutive games. ... Max Domi also had two assists.
Capitals: With his 557th point assisting Kuznetsov’s goal, John Carlson passed Dale Hunter for sixth-most in franchise history. ... Ovechkin was originally placed in COVID protocol on Feb. 2. He missed one game and skipped this past weekend’s All-Star game festivities. ... Carl Hagelin had two assists.
Blue Jackets: Visit Buffalo on Thursday night.
Capitals: Visit Montreal on Thursday night.
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