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The Capitals hosted another opponent on home ice after a tough shutout loss two days ago on Saturday night versus the St. Louis Blues. Tonight the Columbus Blue Jackets were in town and the home team bested them 4 to 1 to clinch the franchise's second Presidents' Trophy in front of another sellout Verizon Center crowd.
First up here's Monday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Washington, in late March, has not lost back to back games in regulation this season. Wow.
- Minus: Winning the Presidents' Trophy is nothing more than a discussion point. The team knows this, mainstream media knows this, and you know this. It will have no impact on this team's psyche, and Barry Trotz is the reason I declare that confidently.
Nine more notes on the game.
- Washington got on the scoreboard first with Justin Williams' 22nd of the year from on top of the crease. A heavy point shot from John Carlson rebounded off of Sergei Bobrovsky's left leg pad to a wide open Williams who deposited it for the lead.
- But less than two minutes later the Blue Jackets were able to even the score thanks to a soft backhanded clearing attempt from Dmitry Orlov. A partial whiff allowed Cam Atkinson to pick up the puck in the slot and fire home a wrist shot and tie the score.
- The game's middle frame saw both teams generate chances but the Capitals would double up their guests on shots in the second period, a sign of good things to come in the final frame.
- Less than four minutes into the third period Tom Wilson hopped on a Daniel Winnik rebound and finished a diving backhanded shot into the twine. The timely tally got the home crowd back into the contest and put momentum squarely on Washington's side.
- With momentum rolling and the Capitals on the power play Nicklas Backstrom was called for unsportsmanlike conduct by shooting the puck against Bobrovsky after play had been whistled dead for an offside. Backstrom put up his best "I didn't hear the whistle" protest to the referees but I highly doubt the linesman robbed him of his first career between-the-legs highlight reel goal.
- However, on Washington's next power play, T.J. Oshie tipped home a Matt Niskanen point shot to extend the Capitals' lead to two with little more than five minutes left to play.
- Backstrom officially iced it with two and a half minutes to play, firing home an empty net goal for his twentieth of the season.
- Boone Jenner has to be one of only a few NHL players to wear a half visor, full visor, and cage in the same contest. Jenner was seen donning two different sets of full facial protection after getting cut by a puck in the first period.
- With the win, his 46th of the year, Braden Holtby ties Olaf Kolzig with 25 wins on home ice in a single regular season. Just another franchise record on a long list of accomplishments for Washington's number one this year.