Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena:
How it happened: The game turned when Justin Falk clipped Caps center Marcus Johansson with a high stick early in the second period and the Caps turned a 2-1 lead into a 4-1 lead on power-play goals by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on both goals and finished with four assists. Backstrom (two goals) and Ovechkin were joined on the score sheet by Jason Chimera, Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson.
What it means: The Caps have won seven of their last eight and have opened up an 18-point lead over the Rangers. If the regular season ended today, the first-seeded Caps would face the eighth-seeded New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs.
Healthy Holtby: Braden Holtby, pulled on Saturday night and unable to finish Sunday’s game because of dizziness, made it through the game with no issues and picked up his 30th win of the season. Holtby (30-5-2) is 22-1-2 in his last 25 games and is on pace for 53 wins, five more than the NHL record set by Marty Brodeur in 2006-07.
Nearly perfect: The Capitals are now 17-0-0 when leading after one period and 26-0-1 when leading after two.
Kuz-tastic: Evgeny Kuznetsov finished with four assists, moving him into fourth place in the NHL with 48 points, behind only Patrick Kane (69), Jamie Benn (56), and Tyler Seguin (53).
Chimmer scare: In the first period Jason Chimera left the game after blocking a slapshot with his left hand. Chimera returned to score his 13th goal of the season. The Caps now have seven players with 12 or more goals.
What’s next: The Caps will have the day off on Wednesday. They return to game action Friday night against Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks.