Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night at Nationwide Arena:
How it happened: The Blue Jackets raced out to a 4-0 lead before the Caps responded with goals from Joel Ward and Eric Fehr, but by then it was far too late to make a game of it. Each team scored a shorthanded goal and went 0-for-7 on the power play.
What it means: Combined with their 5-1 loss in Columbus less than two weeks ago, the Caps were outscored by the Blue Jackets 10-3 in their final two games of the four-game season series. The Caps also fell two points behind the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Jackets moved into third place, replacing the Flyers who were facing the Ducks in Anaheim Thursday night.
Green sidelined: Caps defenseman Mike Green left the game 13:17 into the first period when he was checked hard into the glass by Columbus forward Boone Jenner. Green’s head was pinned against the glass on the hit, which went unpenalized. Green, who has a history of concussion issues, did not return to the game. Afterward, Caps coach Adam oates said Green would make the team's trip to Detroit and will be re-evaluated on Friday.
Look ahead: The Caps are likely to turn to goaltender Michal Neuvirth when they visit the Detroit Red Wings Friday night. They return home after that game and play four games at home entering the Olympic break.