The Washington Capitals fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their final road preseason game on Saturday night. After taking a 1-0 lead, the Blue Jackets scored two unanswered goals, one in the first and one in the third period to win 2-1.
At 7:01 of the first the Caps took a 1-0 lead. Erik Gustafsson fed the puck to Anthony Mantha. Mantha shot the puck and it bounced off a blocker but Aliaksei Protas followed up with the rebound and put it in.
Protas is having himself a preseason and he’s even more likely to make the opening night roster after the Caps elected to loan Hendrix Lapierre to the Hershey Bears. We’ll have more on that and their other cuts later today.
Carson Meyer scored at 12:03 to tie the game. 1-1 was the score after the first period with the Caps leading in shots 14-6.
The second period was scoreless and the game remained 1-1 with the Capitals outshooting the Blue Jackets 14-9.
In the third period the Caps outshot the Blue Jackets 7-5 and 35-20 overall. But it would be the Blue Jackets who would get the final goal. It came from Yegor Chinakhov at 6:46.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette spoke highly of Protas after they beat the Detroit Red Wings. He continued to do the same after this game:
“He continually gets called back up because of his game and the way he is playing the game … I thought he had another strong game tonight.”
There are two more preseason games left before opening night on Oct. 12. There will be a lot of veterans in the lineup but there will also be some final roster spots up for grabs. Laviolette said there will definitely be a chance to insert guys in the lineup who are fighting for those final roster spots.
The Capitals host the Red Wings on Wednesday night.