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Capitals miss T.J. Oshie, lose second game to Blue Jackets

Capitals miss T.J. Oshie, lose second game to Blue Jackets

The Capitals hoped to get revenge for a loss in Columbus five days ago, but fell to the Blue Jackets at home 3-2. 

How it happened: The Capitals played without T.J. Oshie, arguably their MVP through the first 17 games of the season, and his absense hurt.

Things started well. Nicklas Backstrom put the Capitals up with an unassisted goal three minutes into the first period. Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno pulled his team even on the power play six minutes into the second period, but the Capitals quickly retook the lead with a man-advantage score of their own. Backstrom and Matt Niskanen set up Ovechkin in the waning moments of a power play halfway through the second.

That lead only lasted 14 seconds into the third, however, when Brandon Dubinsky put a move on Holtby to knot the score at two apiece. A late high-stick penalty on Backstrom gave the Jackets a man-advantage over the final 1:34 of regulation and Alexander Wennberg capitalized with the game winner. 

What it means: The Capitals will fall to 11-4-2 after the loss today. It's a bitter defeat when leading after two periods. 

Starting fast: Last season, Caps coach Barry Trotz was consistently disappointed by his teams' slow starts. That script has flipped this year. Washington struck first against Columbus, putting them on the board first in 15 of their 18 games this year. Conversely, they haven't allowed a first period goal in four games. The Capitals have led opposing teams 20-8 in first period scoring this season. They just couldn't hold on this time. 

Backstrom not letting up: Backstrom has caught fire for the Capitals in the last four games. For those keeping track, the Swedish centerman has eight points in that span, including four goals.

On Sunday he snuck the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky unassisted to give Washington an early advantage. Then minutes after the Jackets evened things in the second period, Backstrom set up Ovechkin for a one-timer to retake the lead. According to Capitals PR, Sunday marks Backstrom's fourth multi-point game of the season and the 180th of his career.

But it was Backstrom's high-sticking penalty proved disastrous at the end of regulation. 

Power play perks up: The Capitals had not scored a 5-on-4 goal since October 29th when Marcus Johansson struck on the man advantage in Vancouver. The team converted their lone power play opportunity Sunday. 

Oshie leaves hole on PK unit: Oshie (upper body) was not available Sunday, and his absence was most obvious on the penalty kill.

He and Jay Beagle made a productive tandem of forwards on the PK. The pair had scored two shorthanded goals in the last four games.

Without Oshie today, the Capitals surrended a goal to Foglino just seconds into Columbus's second-period man advantage. On the power play again with 1:34 left on the clock, the bad guys scored the winning goal. 

Look ahead: The Capitals host the Blues next Wedesday for their first meeting of the season. At 10-6-3, the Blues currently sit in second place in the Central Division. 

MORE CAPITALS: Red hot Backstrom puts Caps on the board early in 1st

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T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T..J Oshie has some experience in clutch moments when the game is on the line and his name is called.

Thursday, his name wasn't listed in a hypothetical poll on Twitter on which player fans would want to take the final shot if the Stanley Cup was on the line. A shocking omission of one of the most legendary shootout players of all-time.

Even with options such as Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Patrick Kane, No. 77 insinuated he had a different player in mind.

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Oshie single-handedly defeated Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi over six years ago.

Six times Oshie was sent to the ice in a shootout in a preliminary round match against Russia. He answered the bell four times for another legendary U.S. win over Russia.

Oshie has the fourth-most shootout goals (45) in NHL history, only trailing Kane, (47), Frans Nielsen (49), and Jonathan Toews (50).

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Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

With surgical masks in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic, different companies are stepping up to provide masks to the people who need them the most, the healthcare workers. CCM Hockey is among those companies and announced on Wednesday that they will be donating 500,000 surgical masks to healthcare workers.

Several NHL stars are contributing to the donation including Alex Ovechkin.

“By teaming up with our roster of CCM athletes, we will be able to play a role in the collaborative effort to get past this crisis,” CCM CEO Rick Blackshaw said in a statement on their website. “We focused on the best use of our network and our resources to have the quickest impact. Sourcing greatly needed equipment through our established supply chain partners in Asia is the most efficient way for us to support and keep our real heroes safe."

Ovechkin is listed among the players who contributed to the CCM donation.

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The other players listed are Mat Barzal, Patrice Bergeron, Brock Boeser, Dani Cameranesi, Brandon Carlo, Thomas Chabot, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Sidney Crosby, Melodie Daoust, Alex Debrincat, Brianna Decker, Matt Duchene, Matt Dumba, Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Forsberg, Jake Gardiner, Miro Heiskanen, Filip Hronek, Jonathan Huberdeau, Seth Jones, Nathan Mackinnon, Charlie McAvoy, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares.

“The CCM Pros are men and women of action," Blackshaw said. "It troubles them to feel helpless as they witness the devastating effects of this pandemic. At the core of this great sport, hockey is about courage, commitment to a higher goal, as well as to one another. It is exactly these player qualities and beliefs that will allow us to emerge stronger from this challenge.”

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