(The Sports Xchange) – The Columbus Blue Jackets fell one game short of matching the National Hockey League record of 17 straight victories when they fell to the Washington Capitals 5-0 on Thursday.
After 16 straight wins, the Blue Jackets were never in the game as Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots for his fourth shutout of the season.
The Capitals got goals from five different players, scoring two in the first period, another pair in the second and one more in the third as they preserved the record of 17 in a row set in 1993 by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Blue Jackets (27-6-4) had not lost since Nov. 26, when they were defeated in a shootout by the Florida Panthers.
Washington (24-9-5) took a 1-0 lead just over five minutes in and never looked back, getting a goal and an assist apiece from defensemen John Carlson and Nate Schmidt. Daniel Winnik, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams also scored, and Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists.
Williams made it 5-0 at 5:36 of the third when he fired over Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s shoulder from a tough angle for his 11th goal.
Bobrovsky, who allowed five goals on 23 shots while looking to extend his personal winning streak to 15 games, was then lifted in favor of Curtis McElhinney.
Holtby bounced back from being pulled after allowing three goals on eight shots against Toronto on Tuesday to pick up his 27th career shutout.
The Blue Jackets’ league-leading power-play unit was 0 for 5.
Columbus, which won the first two meetings between the clubs this season before the streak began, outshot Washington 11-6 in the first period, but couldn’t get one past Holtby.
The Caps broke on top at 5:06 of the period when Bobrovsky made a save on Jay Beagle in front, but Winnik came in to Bobrovsky’s left and banged the loose puck high into the net for his sixth of the season.
Washington made it 2-0 midway through the period. Kuznetsov skated down the left side and dropped the puck back to Marcus Johansson, who fired a centering pass that caromed off the streaking Carlson’s skate and past Bobrovsky.
It was the first time Columbus trailed by two goals during the winning streak.
The Capitals made it 3-0 at 7:28 of the second period. Bobrovsky made the initial save on Schmidt’s shot from the top of the right circle, but Schmidt scored on the rebound. It was his first goal since Jan. 7, 2016 — a span of 67 games.
Burakovsky made it 4-0 with 3:33 left in the second when his shot, off a pass from Carlson, deflected off Bobrovsky and in.
(Editing by Andrew Both/Larry Fine)