The Washington Capitals shut out the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-0 Thursday night, snapping their 16-game win streak one victory shy of tying the single-season consecutive wins record.
“Obviously, they’re on a huge winning streak right here, and it’s going be a really good and fun moment for us to end it,” Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky said at Thursday’s morning skate, according to The Washington Post.
Washington backed Burakovsky’s claim through a rout of the NHL’s hottest team.
“Everybody shared in the victory,” Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said, per The Washington Post. “Every line did something that changed the game or had a real positive effect on the game.”
With each line generating production, 10 different Capitals notched points in the game, including Burakovsky.
Burakovsky scored a goal after a Blue Jackets giveaway in their defensive zone. Capitals defenseman John Carlson fed Burakovsky the puck, setting up the wrist shot that put Washington ahead 4-0.
Capitals forward Justin Williams extended the lead to five with a third-period goal. Williams has four goals and nine points in his last six games.
“I wanted to stop the streak,” Williams said, according to The Associated Press. “Who wouldn’t want to stop a streak? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it, for sure. And we did …”
After Williams scored, Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella pulled his starting goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, from the game.
During his 45 minutes on the ice, Bobrovsky saved 18 of Washington’s 23 shots. His replacement, Curtis McElhinney, saved all four of the shots the Capitals dealt him.
“We were hearing our win song after every game,” Columbus forward Scott Hartnell said, per the AP. “We talked about it after the game. Obviously, that’s a disappointing loss to end it, but it had to come to an end.”
Before Thursday’s game, the Blue Jackets had not lost since Nov. 26. Only the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins had a longer win streak than Columbus’.
Defense Remains Strong:
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby led the defensive charge, saving all 29 of the Blue Jackets’ shots. The shutout was his fourth of the season and 27th of his career.
Alongside Holtby’s performance, the defense as a whole shut down Columbus.
Washington’s penalty kill unit held Columbus’ top-ranked power play squad scoreless in five chances with the man advantage.
Most notably, the Capitals killed a 1:06 long, five-versus-three power play midway through the third period.
Individual defenders had strong offensive performances as well. Washington defensemen Nate Schmidt and Carlson each scored a goal and an assist on the night. Carlson has scored 12 points in his last 13 games.
Carlson added his assist on Burakovsky’s goal. Schmidt picked up his assist on forward Daniel Winnik’s first-period goal.
How They Stand:
The Capitals improved to 24-9-5 with their fourth straight win. However, they remained in fourth place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington sits two points behind both the third-place New York Rangers and the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The first-place Blue Jackets fell to 27-6-4. They hold a three-point lead over the Penguins in the division.
A Look Ahead:
Washington will travel to Ottawa to face the Senators Saturday night.
Columbus will host the Rangers Saturday night.