Kuznetsov’s OT goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the winning goal 26 seconds into overtime to help the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 to get them to fourth place in the Metropolitan Division.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 26 seconds into overtime, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Tuesday night.

The win extended Washington’s lead over Pittsburgh for fourth place in the Metropolitan Division to three points.

Trevor van Riemsdyk scored twice, Garnet Hathaway added a goal and Kuznetsov also contributed an assist. Charlie Lindgren stopped 31 shots.

“We talked before the game how important these two points were going into the break — feeling good, a little positive vibes when we come back for the home stretch,” van Riemsdyk said.

Andrew Peeke, Eric Robinson and Johnny Gaudreau scored for Columbus, which has lost three straight and seven of its last nine to remain in last place in the NHL. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 30 shots.

Hathaway gave Washington the lead 5:06 into the first period. Van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with 5:32 remaining before Peeke cut the lead in half 12 seconds later.

“We started OK and then got lost at times along the way, just decisions with the puck,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “At the end of the day, they stayed with it. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t clean. They stayed with it.”

The teams traded goals in the second, with van Riemsdyk scoring his second at 8:26 and Robinson getting Columbus within one 2 1/2 minutes later.

Gaudreau’s goal at 12:44 of the third knotted the score 3-3.

“I thought they battled all night,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “I thought it was a solid game by us and a few mistakes. There were some breakdowns, and it cost us there at the end.”


The game was among the last three played in the NHL before the All-Star break.


Laviolette passed Pat Quinn and tied former Capitals head coach Ron Wilson for the 11th-most games coached in NHL history with 1,401.


Columbus recalled Marcus Bjork from AHL Cleveland.


“You don’t expect on a nightly basis to see him popping in two goals, but when he does, it’s certainly a bonus for our team,” Laviolette on van Riemsdyk.


Capitals: After the All-Star break, visit Boston on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Blue Jackets: Visit Toronto on Friday, Feb. 10.

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