WASHINGTON, DC – Because the Washington Capitals don't lose very often, they'll try to take something from a letdown game against the Columbus Blue Jackets rather than just burning the video.
Fresh off sweeping a four-game road trip, the NHL-leading Capitals fell flat in a 5-2 loss Monday night that snapped their winning streak at six. Washington hadn't lost in regulation since Nov. 20.
The Capitals' seven-game point streak came to an end two days before facing the Boston Bruins in a showdown of the league's top two teams.
“That's a good thing about this league: Everyone can beat everyone if you don't have your best day," center Nicklas Backstrom said. “There's no easy games in this league, that's for sure. You've just got to bounce back right away. We have a good test on Wednesday against Boston.”
Goaltender Braden Holtby made 19 first-period saves but allowed four goals on 37 shots. Alex Ovechkin scored his 21st of the season early in the third period, and Backstrom added a 6-on-5 goal in the waning minutes in his return from an eight-game injury absence.
"We started getting better and better as the game went on, but it wasn’t enough," Washington forward Carl Hagelin said.
Holtby blamed himself for giving up a bad-angle goal to Riley Nash in the third after Ovechkin had cut the deficit to one.
“It's obviously one we'd like to have back, but we played hard," Holtby said. "They played a really good game. In the end, their third goal killed us and move on.”