COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ryan Johansen scored twice and Derek MacKenzie, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson also had goals to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, ending a three-game losing skid.
Jack Johnson and Fedor Tyutin each had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who had totaled six goals in those last three games. MacKenzie’s goal was short-handed and Dubinsky also had an assist. Sergei Bobrovsky had 30 saves, 19 in the ragged, penalty-filled final period.
Joel Ward had a short-handed goal and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals, who had won two in a row after dropping seven straight.
Each team was 0 for 7 on the power play.
Both clubs came into their fourth and final meeting of the year with 56 points in 53 games. The victory boosted Columbus into the thick of the playoff picture, both the wild card and in the Metropolitan Division.
The Blue Jackets tied a franchise mark by scoring at least three goals in each game of a team-record eight-game winning streak but had mustered just two per game since. Meanwhile, the Capitals had scored 10 goals in winning their last two games.
Yet Columbus roared to a 4-0 lead and never looked back.
The entire first period was chippy, with each side getting in some jarring hits. It all started when Washington’s Tom Wilson leveled Nikita Nikitin in the opening minutes. From then on, Wilson played with a target on his back and there was string of borderline hits and players temporarily down on the ice.
Moments after Bobrovsky gloved a power-play shot by Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 38 goals, the Blue Jackets scored shorthanded.
MacKenzie pounced on a loose puck at center ice and skated in from the left wing unimpeded, deking to get Braden Holtby down on the ice and then sliding the puck inside the near post for the Blue Jackets’ fifth goal on the penalty kill this season. It was his sixth goal and came at the 12:18 mark.
Johansen then carried the puck up the ice on a break, pulled up to look for a teammate, and passed to Jack Johnson, who fired up a slap shot from the right point. The puck caromed off Boone Jenner and Johansen had a vacant net to tap in the rebound.
The goal at the 16:56 mark marked the first time the 21-year-old had reached 20 goals in his three-year career.
Just 24 seconds into the second period, Dubinsky brought the puck through the neutral zone and teed it up — while surrounded by three Washington players — and fired a hard, low slap shot that beat Holtby on the glove side. Dubinsky had called out the young Blue Jackets after their loss Tuesday, saying their immaturity had caused them to take a step back after the win streak.
Johansen made it 4-0 thanks to some soft play by the Capitals. He corralled the puck behind the net, circled the cage, set up at the rim of the right circle and backhanded the puck into the net in front of five stationary Washington players.
The Capitals picked up four minor penalties in the second period alone while being outshot 17-5. One of the penalty kills resulted in their only goal, when Ward scored shorthanded with Holtby picking up an assist.
After Fehr cut the lead to 4-2 early in the third period, Atkinson notched his 17th.
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