WASHINGTON – Jason Chimera tipped in a rebound 2:30 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Thursday night.
The Capitals had a 3-on-2 rush, resulting in Brooks Laich's shot that goalie Steve Mason couldn't handle. The rebound went to Chimera and he tapped the puck in to give Washington its 12th victory in March.
The Capitals reached 101 points, crossing the 100-point plateau for the third straight season, to move within a point of Philadelphia — a 1-0 loser to Atlanta — for the Eastern Conference lead.
Scottie Upshaw forced overtime for Columbus, fighting off two Washington defenders to score his 22nd goal of the season with 5:37 remaining in the third period.
The teams scored four goals in a 2:17 span in the second period, turning a defensive-minded game into a freewheeling affair.
Columbus' Antoine Vermette tied it at 1 with 8:50 remaining after Matt Calvert came up with a loose puck and kicked it toward his teammate, who beat goalie Michal Neuvirth. The Capitals answered quickly when Mike Knuble retrieved Nicklas Backstrom's shot and tapped the puck into a wide-open net with 7:28 left.
Just 42 seconds later, the Blue Jackets' Fedor Tyutin fired a shot from just inside the blue line past Neuvirth to tie it. But again, Washington responded, when Jason Arnott scored 13 seconds later off a pinpoint pass from Marco Sturm.
Washington got off to a quick start, with defenseman John Carlson scoring 1:39 into the contest. Mason flubbed a glove save of a Laich shot, and Carlson deposited the rebound for his seventh goal of the season. The Capitals outshot Columbus 15-4 in the first period and 33-23 overall.
NOTES: Washington finished its 18-game schedule against the Western Conference with a 8-9-1 record. ... Carlson appeared in his 100th career game. ... Arnott's goal was the 399th of his career. ... Columbus winger Rick Nash and Washington defenseman Dennis Wideman missed the game. Nash has an undisclosed injury that will be re-evaluated Friday. Wideman is week-to-week with a lower-body injury suffered in the Capitals' loss Tuesday against Carolina. ... Columbus hasn't scored a power-play goal since March 9, an 11-game span in which it is 0 for 35. ... Tomas Kubalik had two assists for the Blue Jackets in his NHL debut.