Capitals continue success vs. Bobrovsky, beat Blue Jackets

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AP Hockey Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Alex Ovechkin scored his 218th power-play goal and the Washington Capitals continued their dominance of Sergei Bobrovsky in a 4-3 victory over the Metropolitan Division-leading Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

Brett Connolly, Alex Chiasson and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Capitals, who have won five of seven. Braden Holtby stopped 32 of 35 shots, including 16 in the third period of a matchup between the past two Vezina Trophy-winning goaltenders.

Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 23 shots, losing for the 12th time in 18 games against Washington. Connolly, Chiasson and Kuznetsov became the 12th, 13th and 14th Capitals to score on Bobrovsky since the start of the 2015-16 season.

Artemi Panarin, Matt Calvert and Zach Werenski scored for the Blue Jackets, who looked worn down toward the end of the second half of back-to-back games but made it interesting late.

Ovechkin continued his climb up two NHL career lists, passing Jaromir Jagr and Mike Gartner for 10th in power-play goals and tying Mark Recchi for 20th in goals overall with his 577th.

The goals by Connolly and Chiasson in the first 2:06 gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead on their first three shots. Bobrovsky settled and stopped 16 in a row to give Columbus an opportunity to get back into the game.

That happened in the second period on an even-strength goal by Panarin and a short-handed goal by Calvert in his return after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury. It came right on cue for Calvert after coach John Tortorella said of his short-handed chances before the game, "I'd like him to score them, too."

A second consecutive holding penalty by Boone Jenner allowed Ovechkin to score from his office in the faceoff circle with 47.6 seconds left in the second. After Kuznetsov scored early in the third, Werenski cut Washington's lead to 3-2 late, and Pierre-Luc Dubois clanked one off the post inside of two minutes as Columbus couldn't tie it.

NOTES: Capitals F Chandler Stephenson left with an upper-body injury after taking a big hit in the second period from Seth Jones. The team announced Stephenson would be re-evaluated Sunday. ... Columbus put D Ryan Murray on injured reserve and listed D Markus Nutivaara as day-to-day with upper-body injuries. Gabriel Carlsson played in place of Nutivaara. ... Connolly replaced Tyler Graovac in the Capitals' lineup.


Blue Jackets: Host New Jersey on Tuesday night, the first of a home-and-home series between the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division.

Capitals: Continue their five-game homestand Monday night against hot San Jose.

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