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Capitals vs Blue Jackets Recap: Kuemper Bails Out Caps Shutting Down the Cannons

With the return of Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson, Darcy Kuemper comes up big for the win.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Washington Capitals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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It feels like the excitement of a start of a new season with the anticipated return of Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom. There’s a dark cloud on the game as well with head coach Peter Laviolette sitting one of the Capitals' better forwards in Anthony Mantha... but that won’t be the focus for this game. It’s just great to see Willy and Backy back in the lineup.

Plus: There wasn’t too much going well for the Caps this game. Kuemper is an easy answer but I’ll go with the young pairing of Fehervary-Alexeyev was looking pretty darn good. It’s always good to see the youth stepping up and playing well.

Minus: The Caps didn’t play all that well, which is concerning considering they played one of the worst teams in the league while they were tired. But, considering they put two guys in for their first games of the season (and sat one of their best forwards), it’s going to take awhile to get new chemistry going. One game shouldn’t make anyone worried.

Notes:

-The Caps scored early in this one with one of the hottest defensemen in the game, Erick Gustafsson getting a lucky bounce off a Blue Jacket’s skate and between the goalies leg. Between last Blue Jacket game and this one, Caps are using all of their luck on a bad team.

-Darcy Kuemper had a couple big saves in the first, which was good to see because his last game against the Blue Jackets he was not on his game. Getting a good bounce back game from him would be good.

-The Caps two best chances in the first came from their defensemen: Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen. They both got in close to the paint on different shifts, but Elvis Merzlikins came up with two great saves to keep the Caps lead to just one.

-The Caps started the third period with their first penalty of the game. They killed it well, the hope is that maybe gives them a boost to start playing well.

-Halfway through the third, Backstrom made his first appearance of the game taking a penalty behind the net in the offensive zone. Luckily the Caps were able to kill it.

-The game was pretty boring than with six minutes left it started to heat up. The Caps put together a couple of their best chances of the game. Then the Blue Jackets had a glorious 2-on-1 chance which left sniper Patrik Laine ripping a puck but Kuemper came up big, sliding over blocking away the shot.

-The Caps ended up hanging on for a 1-0 win but the Blue Jackets made it close towards the end. Luckily, Kuemper stayed stellar through out.

Up Next: The Caps get a much needed two day rest before playing the Flyers Wednesday night.