How it happened: Columbus goaltender Anton Forsberg, recalled from the AHL earlier in the day, entered the game for starter Curtis McElhinny 55 seconds into overtime and stopped all six shots he faced, then thwarted Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom in the shootout to give the Blue Jackets back-to-back wins over the NHL’sa top two teams (Dallas and Washington). T.J. Oshie opened the scoring in the shootout, but Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Johansen beat Braden Holtby, who fell to 16-0-2 in his last 18 decisions.
What it means: The Caps were 68 seconds away from winning in regulation when Brandon Dubinsky scored with McElhinney puilled for an extra arttacker. The Caps have lost consecutive games for the first time all season. The last team to go an entire season without back-to-back losses were the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, who had the benefit of regulation ties. The Caps remain atop the Eastern Conference with a 28-8-2 record at 58 points. Holtby and the Caps fell to 1-2 in shootouts this season.
Special split: The Caps went 2-for-6 on the power play, getting goals from T.J. Oshie (his 14th) and Jason Chimera (his 11th). But they failed to get a puck past Forsberg during a 4-on-3 power-play in overtime when Forsberg stopped Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Matt Niskanen and T.J. Oshie to keep the game knotted at 4-4. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets went 2-for-3 on the man-advantage, getting a pair of goals from defenseman Jack Johnson. The Caps had trouble in their own zone and clearly felt the loss of PK specialists Jay Beagle, John Carlson and Brooks Orpik.
Close shave: Near the end of the second period Braden Holtby had his helmet pried off when Nick Foligno skated through the crease with his stick held high. There was no call on the play but Ovechkin had a few words with the referee at the end of the period.
Coach’s challenge: The Caps finally won a coach’s challenge early in the second period. Here is what the NHL had to say about it:
At 2:45 of the second period in the Capitals/Blue Jackets game, Washington requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Columbus was off-side prior to William Karlsson's goal.
After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Columbus forward Cam Atkinson was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”
Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Columbus Blue Jackets.
The clock is re-set to show 17:17 (2:43 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.
O-for-Ovi: Alex Ovechkin had a game-high 22 shot attempts. Six hit the net, eight were blocked and eight missed the net. He remains four goals shy of 500.
Loose pucks: The Caps were outhit 28-9 and lost 55 percent of their faceoffs, mostly because Maercus Johansson won just 2 of 14 draws. Zach Sill saw just 7:26 of ice time while Aaron Ness saw 8:49.
What’s next: The Caps are off on Sunday and will return to practice Monday at Kettler at 10:30 a.m. They return to game action Tuesday night in Boston.
MORE CAPITALS: AAA Keys to the Game: Caps vs. Blue Jackets