NHL Game Summary - Washington at Columbus
(Saturday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Washington 3, Columbus 2
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jose Theodore stopped 34 shots to help the Washington Capitals move a step closer to the Presidents' Trophy with a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Capitals, who have already clinched first place in the Eastern Conference, are on the verge of their first Presidents' Trophy. At 114 points, the team will clinch first overall in the NHL with one point over their final four games or should San Jose lose any of its final four games.
Additionally, the team set franchise marks in total wins (51) and road wins (23) with Saturday's victory.
"Well, it's nice to set records," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "It gives us a goal to shoot for next year, you know and it's nice to get the 51st win and instead of you know we were stuck on 49 there for a while and we would get back to back and you know it's good, but its more significant the fact that Theodore had a good game and for the most part we played fairly good defensively."
Tomas Fleischmann, Alexander Semin and Mike Green each scored a goal for the Capitals, who have won two straight after dropping their previous three.
Antoine Vermette scored both of the goals for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped their past two games. Mathieu Garon started in net but gave up two goals on four shots before leaving just over 10 minutes into the contest. Steve Mason finished the game in net and stopped 22 shots.
"The disappointing thing was I thought we played well enough to win the game," said Columbus head coach Claude Noel. "We had good enough chances. The obvious thing that stands out was the lack of success on the 5-on-3. We really didn't generate much of anything."
The Capitals struck 5:54 into the game when a give-and-go between Semin and Brooks Laich resulted in Semin's slap shot from the inside left circle finding the back of the net.
About five minutes later, Fleischmann's one-timer from the slot got past Garon for a 2-0 advantage.
Garon came out of net after the goal, but Green made it a 3-0 game about three minutes later on a 5-on-3 power play, as his slap shot from the right point beat Mason.
Columbus got one back moments later, as a 2-on-1 break saw Rick Nash send the puck from the right side to the front where Vermette redirected it in.
The second period went scoreless, but Vermette's second goal of the game with 7:43 to play made it a one-goal contest.
Columbus, though, was unable to net the equalizer despite pulling Mason from the net late in the game for the extra attacker.
Green's goal gave him 74 points on the season, a new career-high...Washington hosts Boston on Monday...Columbus plays in St. Louis on Monday...Washington snapped a three-game losing streak at the hands of Columbus...Washington went 1-for-6 on the power play, while Columbus was 0-for-3.
04/03 22:21:38 ET