The Metro-leading Blue Jackets came into D.C. red hot, having won eight of their previous nine games. And their ace netminder, Sergei Bobrovsky, was back between the pipes after getting a couple of games off.

Didn’t matter.

As the Caps have shown on occasion this season, they’re capable of beating anyone on any given night. And they did it again, thanks to Braden Holtby and Alex Ovechkin, both of whom played a huge role in lifting the Caps to a 4-3 victory over Columbus at Capital One Arena.

Tarik’s three stars of the night:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

The Caps had blown a 2-0 lead and, judging from the way things were going after surrendering a shorty, they seemed to be in jeopardy of blowing the game, too. Then Ovechkin decided to do something about it. With Boone Jenner back in the box, the Caps’ captain set up in the circle and fired a laser beam of a shot past Bobrovsky to restore the Caps’ lead, 3-2, in the waning seconds of the middle frame.

The goal was Ovi’s 218th with the man advantage and it pushed him past Mike Gartner and Jaromir Jagr for 10th place on the all-time power play goal list. It also moved him into a tie with Mark Recchi for 20thplace (577) on the all-time goals list.

2-Braden Holtby, Capitals

Although the Caps opened a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Brett Connolly and Alex Chiasson, Holtby was the best player on the ice in the opening 20 minutes. And the home team needed him to be just that. He stopped all eight shots he faced in the first, including a sprawling stop on Josh Anderson early. Holtby also made a timely stop on a Nick Foligno breakaway early in the second period and a point blank save on Cam Atkinson as the Caps protected a 4-2 edge late.


3- John Carlson, Capitals

No. 74 entered the night tied for eighth among all defensemen with 18 points. Make that 20 points. Carlson was credited with primary assists on the Caps’ third and fourth goals. On the second assist, Carlson corralled a puck in the slot and made a slick pass to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who buried his third goal in two games to put Washington ahead 4-2.

Overall, Carlson now has 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) in the last 15 games.

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