COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Once the Columbus Blue Jackets built some momentum, they rallied past the Washington Capitals for another home win.
Nineteen-year-old rookie Zach Werensky tied the game late in the third and Cam Atkinson scored 37 seconds into overtime to give Columbus a 2-1 victory over Washington on Tuesday night for the Blue Jackets’ sixth straight win at home.
Atkinson buried a wrister off a face-off from the right circle past Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to win it.
Werenski scored the tying goal with just under seven minutes remaining, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 shots.
“I think for us it’s just staying patient,” Werenski said. “That’s what we did tonight, capitalizing on our chances when we had them. It was huge.”
Nicklas Backstrom scored late in the second period for Washington, and Grubauer finished with 20 saves.
“I thought in the first two periods we played a real good road game against a team that’s been quite hot in this building,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said.
The Blue Jackets started slow, struggling to penetrate Washington’s defense and getting off just 12 shots in the first two periods.
“We kept our patience when we were down, didn’t open up,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “It’s a really good win for our team to win a game that way.”
Backstrom scored his second goal of the season when he skated through traffic and shot from the right circle past Bobrovsky’s glove side with 4:17 left in the second.
The Blue Jackets tied it with 6:58 left in the third when Werenski rocketed a wrist shot off the post and past Grubauer.
Scoring opportunities were rare for both teams in the opening period, although Columbus missed some passes early on that could have put them in productive situations. Washington got off six shots in the period, and Columbus had just five as the Blue Jackets blocked seven Capitals shots.
The Blue Jackets got some good looks and a couple promising shots on the back end of a power play at the beginning of the third period, but Grubauer held firm. Players said those on-target shots helped build momentum in the period, even if they didn’t produce a goal.
“I think in the third period we had a lot of chances, four or five shots that could have gone in but their goalie made good saves,” Werenski said. “I think it really gave us a lift.”
Notes: A third-period goal by Backstrom was erased after video replay determined T.J. Oshie was offside bringing the puck down. … Washington’s Alex Ovechkin hasn’t had a point in the past four games. … D Scott Harrington was on the Blue Jackets’ bench for the first time this season. He’s been a healthy scratch in the past 13 games. … D Dalton Prout was a late scratch with an upper-body injury for Columbus. RW Brett Connolly and D Nate Schmidt were healthy scratches for Washington. … The Blue Jackets are dropping morning practices on game days on a trial basis. Tortorella said he wants the players to be fresh for games. … Grubauer made his second consecutive start for the Capitals, meaning Braden Holtby will play against Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
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