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Caps host Blue Jackets aiming to snap skid
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals hope to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets in Tuesday's Metropolitan Division clash at Verizon Center.
The Capitals had won four straight to open the month of November before going 0-1-1 on a two-game road trip. Washington dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in Phoenix on Saturday despite carrying a 3-1 lead into the third period and was then handed a 4-1 setback the following night at Colorado.
Former Washington netminder Semyon Varlamov stopped 33-of-34 shots on Sunday to frustrate his former teammates. Varlamov spent his first three seasons with the Capitals before being traded to Colorado following the 2010-11 campaign.
Joel Ward netted the lone Washington goal and Braden Holtby allowed all four goals on 37 shots for the Capitals, who had their worst losing streak of the season when they went 0-3-0 from Oct. 5-12.
"We let it get away from us in the end," Capitals head coach Adam Oates said of Sunday's performance.
Washington will play four of its next five game on home ice and is 6-3-0 in D.C. this season.
While the Caps aim to end a two-game funk on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets will aim to post back-to-back wins after ending a five-game skid in their last trip to the ice.
Columbus was mired in an 0-5-0 stretch before busting out of the slump with Saturday's 5-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders. The decisive victory allowed the Blue Jackets to salvage the final tilt of a four-game homestand before it began a stretch of seven road tests in eight outings.
Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Johansen each collected a goal and two assists to lead the Jackets past the Isles on Saturday. The score was tied at 2-2 after two periods, but Columbus received three unanswered goals from R.J. Umberger, Cam Atkinson and James Wisniewski in the final stanza to end its longest winless stretch since an 0-5-1 rut in December of 2011.
Wisniewski added an assist on the evening, while Sergei Bobrovsky aided Columbus' cause with a 24-save effort between the pipes.
"I thought everybody was on the same page right from the start," said Johansen. "We were all working together and every line was doing all the little things to get pucks deep, pucks to the net and all that stuff. If you do that continuously throughout the game, you're going to be successful."
The Blue Jackets are 2-4-0 as the visiting team this season. The club will visit Boston on Thursday, then host Montreal on Friday before heading out on a five-game swing.
Columbus forward Nick Foligno missed Saturday's game due to personal reasons and is not expected to return until Thursday's tilt in Boston.
Washington recorded a 4-1 home win over the Blue Jackets on Oct. 19 as Holtby turned aside 37-of-38 shots to anchor the Capitals. That was the first career appearance against Columbus for Holtby, while Bobrovsky, who yielded four goals on 39 shots in the earlier loss, is 1-1-1 with a 3.55 goals against average in four lifetime outings against Washington
The Caps have won four straight in this series overall and boast a 4-1-1 record with one tie in seven all-time home meetings against Columbus.
11/12 11:05:19 ET