Backstrom's late goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets, 3-2

Washington Capitals' Chandler Stephenson, right, carries the puck up ice as Columbus Blue Jackets' David Savard defends during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Nicklas Backstrom scored the winning goal with 43 seconds left, Braden Holtby made 37 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Brandon Dubinsky tied the score for Columbus late in the third period and the game appeared headed to overtime before Backstrom jumped on a pass from T.J. Oshie and beat Sergei Bobrovsky for his 200th career goal.

John Carlson and Tom Wilson also scored as the Capitals rallied to break a two-game skid and hang onto first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Bobrovsky had 22 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four in a row and nine of 11. They're still in playoff contention, but so are all the teams in the division.

Washington (31-17-5) won the first leg of a home-and-home this week with Columbus (27-22-4).

David Savard got his fourth goal of the season 1:58 into the game with a rocket from the high slot that beat Holtby.

It took the Caps only about three minutes to even the score, taking advantage of one of the worst penalty-killing teams in the NHL. Carlson got his eight goal of the season on a power play with a hard one-timer from beyond the right circle.

Wilson gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second. Skating fast into the slot, he got a crisp pass from Alex Ovechkin and tapped a backhand between Bobrovsky's pads before the goalie could get all the way down to the ice.

One the other end, Holtby was solid. The Blue Jackets outshot Washington 17-7 in the second period, going hard to the net repeatedly, but were unable to get the puck to bounce their way.

NOTES: Josh Anderson and Wilson threw off their gloves and slugged each other briefly until Anderson went to the ice in the first period. Both got five minutes in the box. ... Evgeny Kuznetsov, with a secondary assist on Wilson's goal, has seven points in the last five games. ... D Taylor Chorney and forward Chandler Stephenson were scratches for the Capitals. ... The Blue Jackets scratched D Scott Harrington and forward Markus Hannikainen.

UP NEXT

Capitals: Hosts Columbus on Friday.

Blue Jackets: At Washington on Friday.

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