New-Look Blue Jackets Start Fast, Coast to Huge Win over Capitals at Nationwide Arena

By Rob Mixer on February 26, 2018 at 9:40 pm
Blue Jackets celebrate a power play goal against the Washington Capitals
Aaron Doster – USA TODAY Sports

Is something building?

Man, the Blue Jackets played with a different vibe tonight.

They scored first, then scored three more in the first period (including two on the power play) to take an early commanding lead over the Washington Capitals, who had won 10 of the previous 13 meetings between the two clubs.

  1 2 3 F
CAPITALS 1 0 0 1

Right from the start, this felt like the Blue Jackets' night. Armed with reinforcements in Ian Cole and Mark Letestu and a more balanced lineup, they played faster and more tenacious than we've seen in a while. They led 4-1 after the first period, by the same score after two periods, and added one more late in regulation (Cam Atkinson's empty-netter) to seal two important points on home ice.

Mark Letestu scored in his return to the Blue Jackets, a huge 3-1 goal in the first period. 

Seth Jones had a goal and two assists, and in goal, Sergei Bobrovsky and his defense muted the Capitals over the final two periods. This was one of their more impressive performances in some time, and they're going to need a few more of them down the stretch to punch their ticket to the playoffs for a second straight year.

In seven of Bobrovsky's last eight starts, he's allowed two goals or fewer. Artemi Panarin tied the Blue Jackets goal-scoring lead with his 18th (power play) to open the scoring in the first period, as well.

Injury Update

Jarmo Kekalainen said earlier in the day that Markus Nutivaara and Dean Kukan, both out with upper body injuries, could be out for a while. 

Next Up

The Blue Jackets head to California for their first of two western trips between now and the end of the season. They'll face the Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center on Thursday, a 10:30 p.m. ET face-off.

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