Evgeny Kuznetsov’s overtime goal powers Capitals past Blue Jackets

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals survived a Columbus Blue Jackets comeback to win 4-3 in overtime thanks to Evgeny Kuznetsov in their final game before the All Star break and the ensuing bye week. No Caps games until Feb. 11, sad panda face.

At 5:06 the Caps struck first as Garnet Hathaway deflected in a Lars Eller shot for his eighth goal of the season. Nick Jensen had the secondary assist.

Trevor van Riemsdyk doubled the lead at 14:28 with Nicolas Aube Kubel prodding the assist. The Blue Jackets got on the board with a goal from Andrew Peeke.

2-1 was the score after one with the Caps leading in shots 11-9.

van Riemsdyk scored his second goal of the game at 8:26 on a snipe in front of the net for his career high sixth goal of the season. Kuznetsov and Erik Gustafsson had the helpers.

Eric Robinson made it a 3-2 game at 11:03 which would be the score after two. The Blue Jackets led in shots 12-9.

Johnny Gaudreau tied the game at 12:44. Shots were even at 13 in the third period as the game would require overtime. There was one shot in overtime and it came off the stick of Kuznetsov to win the game for the Caps.

Kuznetsov told the media after the game:

"“I believe in our team always and eventually we get a goal in overtime, which is nice, everybody can smile now and makes big difference, lose 2 in a row or split 1-1 so it is important for us and we can go mental a little stronger for the break.”"

Shots were even overall at 34 apiece. Charlie Lindgren made 31 saves.

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The Caps will be off for the all star break. Alex Ovechkin will participate in the All Star Game this Saturday at 3 p.m. on ABC. That game will take place at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. The next Caps game is Feb. 11 at the Boston Bruins.