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Game Preview - Blue Jackets v Capitals

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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, November 9, 2018
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 18,506

Blue Jackets-Capitals Preview

Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals

  1. Columbus beat Dallas, 4-1, after losing two straight games and combining for only three goals. The Blue Jackets are averaging 4.9 goals in wins this season compared to 1.6 in losses -- that 3.3 goal difference is the fourth largest in the NHL.
  2. The Capitals have won two straight, both at home. They are now 5-1-2 (.750) at home -- those 12 points are tied for the second most at home in the NHL (Lightning, 14).
  3. The Capitals have won six of the last seven meetings against the Blue Jackets, holding Columbus to two or fewer goals in five of those games. The Caps are 10-1-2 (.846) at home versus the Blue Jackets since 2009-10.
  4. Brandon Dubinsky has won 60.3 percent of faceoffs this season, third best in the NHL (minimum three faceoffs per team game). This includes winning 72.2 percent of faceoffs in the neutral zone, best in the NHL (minimum one faceoff per team game).
  5. Alex Ovechkin (12 goals) and T.J. Oshie (eight) lead the Capitals in goals this season. Their 20 goals combined trail only Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog (11) and Nathan Mackinnon (11) for most by a teammate duo this season.
  6. Braden Holtby had 41 saves in Washington's win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, his most since November 2016 (43). It was his first game allowing one or fewer goals since the season opener against Boston.

WASHINGTON -- The Columbus Blue Jackets will visit the Capitals Friday for the teams' first meeting since their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series last Spring.

The Capitals dropped the first two games at home before winning four straight. Games 3, 4 and 6 were played in Columbus and Washington closed out the series with a 6-3 win at Columbus.

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella hasn't gotten over his team's failures on their own ice.

"I'm (ticked) off for our fans," he said told the team's website. "We had a few opportunities to win a home game in the playoffs and I'm (ticked) off they can't enjoy that, even later in the series.

"We go up 2-0, Game 3 we played really well, we couldn't find a way to win it. Game 4 (a 4-1 loss) is the one that disturbs me. ... To not to win a home game, that bugs me, because I want our players to feel that."

Washington (7-4-3) went on to win the Stanley Cup and has won two straight games for the first time this season while Columbus (8-6-1) is 4-2-1 on the road.

The Capitals are coming off a stirring 2-1 win over the rival Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night. T.J. Oshie, who twice left the game due to injury, returned to score the game winner with 1:14 remaining in the third period.

Oshie's eighth goal of the season came after an accidental high stick in the first period left him with two stitches and an illegal hit by Evgeni Malkin in the third period almost put him out for good.

"He came back right on time," Nicklas Backstrom said. "That's what elite players do; they come back. They score the game-winner."

Alex Ovechkin scored his 12th goal of the season and goaltender Braden Holtby made 41 saves to end a personal three-game losing streak (0-2-1).

Thanks to Holtby, the Capitals won on a night they were outplayed by the Penguins and outshot 42-22.

"That's one thing that we've been battling this year and we kind of knew it was one of the things that was going to be a challenge for us, making sure that drive and motivation is up in the start of the season when the playoffs are so far away because these points mean a ton right now," Holtby said. "We're getting closer. We're recognizing it more and more."

The Blue Jackets are coming off a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. Anthony Duclair, Markus Nutivaara, Nick Foligno and Ryan Murray scored, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves.

Artemi Panarin leads the Blue Jackets in assists (11) and points (16) while Josh Anderson leads the way with seven goals.

"(Anderson) could be a very important part of this team if he just keeps on concentrating each and every game," Tortorella told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's something we look for. He sometimes forgets and gets a little inconsistent. We're going to keep on reminding him, because he's playing on the power play now, he's killing penalties and it's rightfully deserved."

Bobrovsky is 7-10-4 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .900 save percentage against the Capitals. Holtby is 14-4-2 with a 2.62 GAA and .914 save percentage versus the Blue Jackets.

Ovechkin has 16 goals and six assists in 30 games against the Blue Jackets while Backstrom has 24 points in 29 games.

Updated November 9, 2018

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