NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Washington
(Thursday, March 31st)
Final Score: Washington 4, Columbus 3 (OT)
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jason Chimera was in the right place at the right time to net an opportunistic goal midway through overtime, lifting the Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jackets.
John Carlson, Mike Knuble and Jason Arnott also scored for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals, who remain in second place in the Eastern Conference behind Philadelphia.
Washington has 101 points and trails the Flyers by one. Philadelphia, though, has a game in hand.
Michal Neuvirth made 20 saves in the Capitals' victory.
Steve Mason stopped 29 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped seven of nine to fall out of playoff contention. Scottie Upshall, Antoine Vermette and Fedor Tyutin lit the lamp in the loss.
"It's a building block, but we can't be satisfied," Mason said of the tough loss.
Upshall scored with 5:37 left in the third period to make it a 3-3 game. He was surrounded by two Capitals defenders in the right circle, but got free and beat Neuvirth to the glove side.
However, Washington pulled out the win in overtime thanks to a 3-on-2 rush. Brooks Laich carried the puck down the center of the ice and released a shot that Columbus defender Sami Lepisto blocked. But the puck went to the left of the crease, where Chimera was waiting to slide it into the open net.
"It's nice to get that one in," said Chimera, who played four-plus seasons in Columbus.
Carlson scored only 1:39 into the game to put Washington in front, and the score held until a rapid series of scores in the second period.
Vermette's wrister bounced off the left post before going in at 11:10, though a neutral zone turnover led to a Capitals rush and Knuble's backhander at 12:32.
Only 42 seconds later, Tyutin scored on a wrister from above the left circle, but just 13 seconds after that, Arnott gave the Capitals a 3-2 edge.
This was the teams' only meeting this season...Laich had two assists for the Caps...Tomas Kubalik and Matt Calvert both had two helpers for Columbus.
04/01 02:16:45 ET