After two kids' games and a practice yesterday and two kids' games today, Hockey Mom finally settled down to watch the big boys welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Phone Booth. The Caps started this game off on the right foot, with a very sweet goal from Nicklas Backstrom, assisted by Tomas Fleischmann and Alex Semin. The Caps led the Jackets 1-0 at the end of the opening period.
The second period started out with some fireworks as Ovechkin skated by the Blue Jackets' bench and got a few not so friendly jabs from Jared Boll and Jason Chimera. This altercation escalated into to an all-out scrum between both teams with the Great8 smack dab in the middle. HM was surprised to see such thuggery coming from a team not wearing orange and black.
At the 14-minute mark Columbus captain Rick Nash made some spectacular moves, drawing Theo out of the net and pretty much stopping Mike Green in his tracks as he put the Blue Jackets on the board to tie the game.
Midway through the second, Ovechkin took a tumble after hitting Raffe Torres and left the ice in obvious pain and favoring his left arm/shoulder, a huge cause for concern for the Caps faithful. Brooks Laich had a fabulous scoring chance on Steve Mason late in the period, but Mason stifled him in a fine imitation of a wall.
The Blue Jackets got on the board for their second tally in an odd chain of events as Jose Theodore was trying to play the puck which in turn took a random bounce and RJ Umberger took full advantage of the opportunity.
The third period started with no Ovie and Brooks Laich mentioned that in Ovechkin’s absence, the team had to step it up. And step it up they did. Now HM had a full weekend of referees who apparently slept through the Hockey Rules 101 section during a few of the twin’s games this weekend. Well, the stripes missed a call for the men in red as well as David Steckel got called for goalie interference while it should have been a hooking call on the Blue Jackets. That was after the first period missed call on a Kristian Huselius hook on Juice that left both the big men sprawled in pain against the boards.
But Laich made true on his word as he scored two goals in a span of about two minutes. The first was assisted by Tom Poti and Alex Semin, and the second was courtesy of Mike Green and Brendan Morrison. Green’s assist gives him points in 9 straight games. At the 13:36 marker, Raffe Torres tied it up again with a bad wrap around on Theo, who was minus his stick at that inopportune moment.
The grinder we all know and love, Quintin Laing, obviously has shaken off all symptoms of the swine flu and proceeded to give the Caps a late third period lead! But in what has become an unsettling trend, the Caps lost the lead in the final seconds as Raffe Torres scored to tie it and take it into OT (another edge of the seat, adult beverage mandatory-ending).
The bad blood continued to boil at the end of this one, with another scrum involving words exchanged between Jason Chimura and Shaone Morrison, among others. The Caps took a penalty call for interference by Brian Pothier during OT, giving the Blue Jackets a power play opportunity. And wouldn’t ya know, that pesky RJ Umberger took full advantage and blew one past Jose Theodore for the win.
Final Score: Columbus 5 – Capitals 4
So another frustrating loss and now we'll wait for news on the health of Alex Ovechkin. For now, Gabby is saying that AO is day-to-day with an upper body injury. The boys aren’t back in action until Wednesday, so let’s keep our collective fingers crossed that Ovie is back on the bench to face the New Jersey Devils. Stay tuned…