One of these streaks will end when the red-hot Ovechkin and his Capitals visit Nash and the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Ovechkin enters with a 10-game point streak after scoring in a 3-0 home win over Montreal on Friday. The reigning Hart Trophy winner has bounced back from a bit of a slow start to the season, and has 11 goals and 11 assists during his 10-game run.
The superstar winger has a goal and two assists during the Capitals’ road losing streak as Washington has been outscored 16-7.
The last time Ovechkin and Nash met was on Feb. 5 in the teams’ only matchup last season, and both had two goals. Ovechkin, however, scored his second goal in overtime as Washington won 4-3 to extend its unbeaten streak against Columbus to seven games (six wins and one tie).
Nash doesn’t have a point in his last two games after scoring goals in five straight for Columbus, which will try to end its recent poor play at home. The Blue Jackets have been outscored 15-6 in a three-game losing streak at Nationwide Arena.
Their latest loss, though, came on the road in particularly disappointing fashion. The Blue Jackets fell 5-3 to Detroit on Friday, conceding the go-ahead goal with 2 minutes left.
“In the second period we played pretty well, in the third period we played well,” Columbus left wing Jason Chimera said. “To lose like that, with a couple of minutes left, is tough.”
“We have to learn how to play the last two minutes of the period,” defenseman Fedor Tyutin said.
Leclaire was playing for only the third time in the last 14 games after missing time with an ankle injury. He made 30 saves.
Rookie Steve Mason has started seven of Columbus’ last 10 games in net, and has been solid with a 2.39 goals-against average in that stretch. Mason may start Saturday.
Tyutin scored twice for Columbus on Friday after not scoring in his previous 10 games. Jakub Voracek added a goal.
Although Ovechkin extended his streak Friday, the story was goaltender Jose Theodore, who made 28 saves for his first shutout with Washington. It was even more special since it came against the Canadiens, with whom Theodore spent parts of 10 seasons.
“Before the game, (Theodore) didn’t talk. He just concentrated on (the) game,” Ovechkin said. “Today, he played well and deserved it. He deserved it.”
The Capitals are 4-7-2 on the road compared to their 9-0-1 home mark.
Seven Washington regulars missed Friday’s game because of injuries, including defenseman Tom Poti, who was scratched with a groin injury.