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Takeaways: Capitals Collapse, Fall To Jackets In Stunning Loss

The Washington Capitals started strong and had a comfortable three-goal lead, but things spiralled out of control in a 7-6 overtime loss.



WASHINGTON — The Capitals had fallen into a dangerous narrative over the last few games, with slow starts followed by too-little, too-late pushes leading to tough losses. Head coach Peter Laviolette promised a better start on Tuesday, and the team delivered. However, things fell apart as the team experienced the inverse of the problem they've faced of late, and though Nick Jensen had played hero late, the Jackets were able to claw back, and it led to a collapse for D.C.

Jensen struck twice and Ovechkin got a goal on his celebration night, but things spiralled out of control in a 7-6 OT loss.

Here are all the takeaways from the defeat:

Washington Capitals Step Off The Gas, Things Fall Apart In Second Half

After a slow start, the Jackets started piling on the pressure and winning key battles to get quality scoring chances. Columbus pulled within one twice and also started to shift the tempo in the second period. It paid off as the Capitals started to run out of steam in the second half, and things fell apart as the Jackets rallied back to even the score 5-5 in the third.

Though Jensen made it 6-5 late, Boone Jenner tied it with less than a minute left and forced OT, where CBJ prevailed on a Jack Roslovic goal.

Alex Ovechkin Stays Hot, Continues 'Gr8 Chase' As Washington Capitals Start Strong

Ovechkin has only the Great One in front of him on the NHL's all-time goals list, and on Tuesday, he moved one step closer to passing him while also shattering another one of his long-time records.

In the opening minutes of the first after his pregame reception, Ovechkin scored after a pass for Dylan Strome went in off Nick Blankenburg and beat Daniil Tarasov. It marked Ovechkin's 40th goal of the season, moving him past Gretzky for the most 40-plus goal campaigns in NHL history (13).

The 37-year-old also extended his point streak to five points and now has 69 points in 66 games this season.

Ovechkin also helped the Capitals off to a much-cleaner start, as they snapped a five-game streak of surrendering the first goal within the first 5:18 minutes of play. Washington also got pucks on net and made a lot happen in the offensive zone, as both Oshie and Conor Sheary added goals to make it a 3-1 game going into the second. The Capitals were outshooting Columbus 19-12 at the end of the first, and that would add a cushion and needed momentum as things got chippy in the second.

However, it ultimately wasn't enough.

T.J. Oshie & Stars Impress, Conor Sheary Busts Out

Since returning from the NHL All-Star Break, Oshie has put on a show and has led the Capitals in scoring with 18 points in 19 games. He had another multi-point outing on Tuesday, picking up his 19th goal of the season and adding an assist.

In addition to the 36-year-old, Milano picked up a goal and assist, while Wilson potted two assists for four points in his last four outings. Strome also stepped up, as he added a helper and now has points in eight of his last nine contests.

Sheary also broke out, as he ended a 21-game goal drought with his long-awaited 13th goal of the season. It was a much-needed tally for the pending UFA, who looked strong playing with Aliaksei Protas and Nic Dowd on the fourth line.

Additional Ice Chips

– Nick Jensen struck in his return from an upper-body injury on Tuesday.

– Nicolas Aube-Kubel was a late healthy scratch, as Aliaksei Protas slotted in instead on the fourth line with Nic Dowd and Conor Sheary. He picked up an assist.

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