Capitals

Capitals beat Blue Jackets 4-3 after late goal from Conor Sheary

Capitals

The Capitals ended their two-game road swing with a 2-0 record as they beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 at Nationwide Arena on Friday with some late-game heroics to lift their record to 8-2-4 on the season.

Here are a few takeaways from the win:

Sheary snaps the Caps to a win

With just 1:22 left to play, Conor Sheary snapped a shot past Joonas Korpisalo for the win.

Dmitry Orlov found Sheary sitting just below the faceoff circle, as Korpisalo couldn't get across from right-to-left in time to stop the puck. The goal was Sheary's second of the season and proved to be the game-winner as the Capitals left Columbus victorious.

Ovechkin keeps climbing

It had been a matter of time for a few months now, but Alex Ovechkin finally launched himself into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list with a wrist shot in the first period. 

Goal No. 742 for Ovechkin means he’s now just 24 goals away from tying Jaromir Jagr for third on the NHL’s all-time list. It was also his 12th of the season, which tied him for the league lead with Edmonton Oiler forward Leon Draisaitl. 

At age 36, Ovechkin isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. And now, there are just three more players left to chase down to reach 894 goals. He'll look to cut into that deficit against the Penguins on Sunday.

 

He Hath scored (Twice)

Garnet Hathaway entered Friday’s game without a goal on the season. It took him seven minutes in the second period to net two.

Hathaway scored just 24 seconds into the second period after the Capitals forced a turnover in the Blue Jackets’ zone. After a beautiful feed from Axel Jonsson-Fjallby (who netted his first NHL point on the play), Hathaway buried a shot in the Columbus net. 

Seven minutes later, he scored again when he went bar-down on a breakaway to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead. 

Jackets strike twice, quickly

With the Capitals holding a 3-1 lead in the second period, the Blue Jackets found a way to erase that deficit in almost no time at all.

First, Sean Kuraly beat John Carlson with a move to the inside and then fired a shot past Ilya Samsonov to cut the lead to 3-2. It was Kuraly’s second goal of the night. 

Then just 22 seconds later, Gustav Nyquist went five-hole on a breakaway to tie the score at three in the blink of an eye. For a team that led by two, it was a quick switch that could've flipped momentum for good.

Samsonov gets the nod in net

Samsonov got the start in net and, early on, it appeared he might be in for a long night as the Blue Jackets struck less than three minutes into the contest. 

But he made key saves when he needed to at some key moments, as the Capitals were able to stay in the game on the back of some of his timely stops. He ended the night having made 26 saves on 29 Columbus shots. 

Now, the Capitals will have an interesting decision to make about who tends the net moving forward. Coach Peter Laviolette said Vitek Vanecek didn't have any "lingering concerns," though his status remains unclear. 

Zach Fucale, who made his NHL debut on Thursday against the Red Wings, pitched a 21-save shutout. 

With Vanecek out, and even when he comes back, the decisions over each game's goaltender will be fascinating to monitor.