The Columbus Blue Jackets lost again Thursday night, falling 4-1 to the Washington Capitals. The Capitals came out with their hair on fire, determined to tie the series at 2-2 and reclaim home-ice advantage. The Blue Jackets seemed slow, and almost disinterested from the get go. They struggled to control the puck, and only managed 24 shots on goal.
Tom Wilson made it 1-0 for the Capitals just 6:16 into the game, quieting the sell-out crowd in Nationwide Arena. Wilson scored off of a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Wilson was called for tripping with about a minute to go in the first period, sending the Blue Jackets to their second power-play of the evening. Unfortunately for Columbus, Artemi Panarin was called for hooking just three seconds later.
The score stayed at 1-0 into the second period, until Panarin was again sent to the penalty box, this time for slashing. T.J. Oshie scored his 2nd goal of the playoffs, and the power-play goal made it a 2-0 game. That score would stand throughout the period, and the Blue Jackets found themselves in a familiar position, down two goals.
The offense couldn’t turn it around this time however, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs just under three minutes into the third period. Ovechkin made it 3-0 off assists from Kuznetsov and Wilson, and that pretty much put the game out of reach.
The Blue Jackets got on the board a few minutes later, after Boone Jenner deflected a shot from Josh Anderson into the back of the net.
— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 20, 2018
The Blue Jackets had a couple more chances after making it 3-1, but nothing materialized. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped a breakaway opportunity from Ovechkin, lighting a fire into Nationwide Arena. Head Coach John Tortorella pulled Bobrovsky for an extra skater with about three minutes to go, and Washington capitalized. Panarin was knocked off the puck in the neutral zone and Kuznetsov sent the puck down the ice and into the net, making it a 4-1 game.
The series is now tied at 2-2, and heading back to Washington for Game Five on Saturday afternoon. Neither team has won a game at home yet, we’ll see if that pattern continues as the puck drops at 3:00pm on NBC Saturday afternoon. Here are the highlights from last night’s contest.