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Cam Atkinson notched a pair of goals to lead Columbus to a 5-1 thrashing over the Washington Capitals. Atkinson now has five goals in his last five games and also notched five shots against the Caps. The Blue Jackets have won five straight and have tallied at least three goals in each of those contests. As long as Atkinson is getting over two minutes on the power play like he did against Washington and Columbus is racking up points, he is definitely worth a pick up if he's still sitting there in your league.
Jack Johnson is another Jacket who is feasting on this win streak. His two assists give him five in his last three outings and he hasn't been a minus player in five straight, which is rare for Johnson. Even if he goes through rough stretches, and Johnson will, he is someone you want to hold on to. He sees major power play minutes and eventually the points will return.
He also delivered a crushing and clean hit on Jay Beagle.
Mark Letestu scored again giving him four goals in three games. He's another player to grab in the short-term while the Jackets are rolling. He's not getting big minutes and this pace isn't sustainable, but take advantage of it while you can.
Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to three games. He's had more ups than downs this year for the first time in his career and leads the team in scoring with 36 points. Patience pays off.
Boone Jenner is someone that the Jackets are going to have to be patient with as well. He's been somewhat of a disappointment offensively this season with 12 points in 37 games, but there are a few good signs. Jenner had a team-leading eight hits against the Caps and is now up to over 100 for the year. It's good to see a young player not afraid to play a physical style, because that will ultimately lead to points quickly when he figures the pro game out.
Not a heck of a lot went right for Washington on this night. Other than the fact that John Carlson scored his first goal in 13 games.
Philipp Grubauer got another start but this time he was lit up to the tune of three goals on 14 shots. Adam Oates had been riding the hot hand between the pipes and that could change now after this effort.
Which brings us to Braden Holtby, who came on in relief and looked fairly sharp making 20-of-22 stops. That was his first action since January 4th and it will be crucial for poolies to see him get back into the regular rotation with the hopes of reclaiming the starting role. Holtby's play last year and over the past two post-seasons even had some whispering that he should be given some consideration as the third goalie for the Canadian Olympic team. However, those hopes quickly vanished in 2013-14 and even though his numbers haven't been terrible, Holtby hasn't done enough to separate himself from the other two netminders in Washington and claim the number one job once and for all. Perhaps this decent effort earns him the next start.
The Blackhawks came away with a 4-2 victory on Friday over the Ducks in a highly anticipated matchup between the Western Conference's two top teams.
Marian Hossa had a pair, including a shorthanded goal on a shift that he and Jonathan Toews dominated. Hossa also played 3:41 on the man advantage, which is a great sign considering his time on the power play has dropped this season to an average of just over two minutes a night.
Marcus Kruger picked up an assist and went 80% in the faceoff circle against the Ducks. He's been great on the draws all year and can really help you if you have that as a category in your league.
I think it's safe to say Patrick Kane is in a slump at this point. He's only found the score sheet twice in his last nine games and put up just a single shot against Anaheim. When the shots on net start disappearing, that's when it's time to get concerned.