THE RESULT: Eric Fehr had two goals and an assist, Alex Ovechkin had three assists and Mike Green had two helpers, and the Washington Capitals ran their pre-season record to 5-0 with a 5-3 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets before an announced 17,496 at noticably chilly Verizon Center.
Brooks Laich, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin added goals for the Caps.
The game was chippy from the get-go. Two minutes in Nathan Guenin put his shoulder into the chest of Matt Hendricks, knocking the Caps forward into next week. As the dazed Hendricks lay on the ice, Tyler Sloan went at Guenin, mixing it up in front of the Columbus bench.
The rough stuff continued all game, as Columbus' roster was made up of players that were trying to make a name for themselves, but most will be fighting for time with their AHL team this season.
Even the big guns got into the act. Nick Holden took a run at Mike Knuble in the third period, hitting the veteran up high with his stick. The next man in was none other than Ovechkin, throwing several punches in Holden's direction. Mind you, this was at 11:16 of the third period of a meaningless pre-season game.
"It doesn't matter it's pre-season or not," the Capitals captain said after the game. "We have to stay together as a team. Hockey is a physical game. They want to show their character. They’re a pretty good team and a young team, so they want to prove something.”
"It was a little physical but it was a good game to play in," Fehr said from his locker stall. "We want to play a physcial game, we don't want to back down."
Fehr had six shots on goal, leading the Caps offense. "Last couple of games I didn't get a lot of shots on goal and Bruce [Boudreau] wanted me to work on that today so it was kinda the game plan. The goals that I got were just kinda cheap goals in front of the net. I'll take 'em any way I can."
"You get 50 of them, and a lot of people are going to pay you a lot of money," Boudreau joked during his press conference.
THE GOOD: Fehr's first goal was a thing of beauty. Marcus Johansson left a drop pass for Green, who deftly slid the puck through the crease to a streaking Fehr, who buried it past Columbus goalie Garon.
It was alose really good to see the players sticking up for each other so well tonight. Columbus brought a bunch of minor leaguers looking to make names for themselves, and they were really throwing their bodies around. The Caps gave back and stood up for themselves when they thought the Jackets were taking liberties.
THE BAD: Washington gave up two power play goals and a short-handed goal. Johansson went 0-for-10 on faceoffs.
THE UGLY: Tyler Sloan took a total of 11 penalty minutes, including his five for fighting and three minors.
THE STATS: Caps outshot Columbus 38-26. Michal Neuvirth made 23 saves on 26 shots.
NEXT GAME: Sunday at 12:30 hosting Nashville.
CAPS NOTES: Hendricks did not return to the game, but Boudreau said were it a regular season game he would have.
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