WASHINGTON — Coach John Tortorella paced up and down the bench, trying to keep the Blue Jackets’ spirits high as they faced their first two-goal deficit since November.

The Jackets just didn’t have it Thursday night. Columbus lost a 5-0 clunker to the Washington Capitals, ending its winning streak at 16 games, one shy of the record set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Blue Jackets’ fear-inducing, league-leading power play was blanked in five chances, and Columbus lost for the first time since Nov. 26. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, rock solid throughout the streak, was chased and replaced by Curtis McElhinney after allowing goals to Daniel Winnik, John Carlson, Nate Schmidt, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams on 23 shots.

The Capitals extended their winning streak to four and moved within five points of the Blue Jackets for the top spot in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division. They were eager to curb Columbus’ run, with Burakovsky saying earlier Thursday, “It’s going to be a really fun moment for us to end it.” A fan at the game held a sign that read, “Hey Blue Jackets, streaking is not allowed in here.”

Tortorella conceded that luck was needed during the streak, and his team didn’t get the bounces Thursday. Winnik’s goal came off a flurry in front, Carlson’s went in off his left skate and Schmidt’s on his own rebound off Bobrovsky’s chest.

Washington’s good fortune and a 29-save performance from reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby combined for a blowout reminiscent of when the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers ended their 35-game unbeaten streak with a 7-1 loss at the Minnesota North Stars.

Tortorella had said he wanted his club to tie the record, but added, “It’s not the end of the world if we don’t. It’s been a really good process for us to handle a little bit of scrutiny that we’re not used to at certain times. This is all good.”

Tortorella said he’d measure his club more by how it handled the lull when the streak ended. As captain Nick Foligno pointed out before the game, this was only contest No. 37 for Columbus, and the Blue Jackets have a long way to go to show they’re more than just a team with a memorable midseason run.

“I’m proud of the group that we’ve hung together and stayed true to what our mantra is, so to speak, and we’ve got to continue to do that for a lot more games than just 37,” Foligno said.

PREDATORS 6, LIGHTNING 1: Colton Sissons ended a 12-game goal drought with his first career hat trick, Pekka Rinne made 27 saves and Nashville won at Tampa, Florida.

Tampa Bay pulled its goalie for an extra skater with seven minutes left in the third, and Sissons got his second of the game a minute later before completing the trick from close with three minutes remaining. He entered with two goals this season and seven overall in 78 career games.

Nashville also got goals from Mike Fisher, Filip Forsberg and Ryan Ellis. Rinne improved to 7-0-1 against Tampa Bay.

Tyler Johnson scored for the Lightning, who went 2-2-1 on a five-game homestand. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 13 shots.

HURRICANES 4, BLUES 2: Jeff Skinner put Carolina ahead in the third period and Derek Ryan scored twice, helping the Hurricanes win at St. Louis.

Skinner scored a power-play goal with 6:08 remaining to make it 3-2, and then Ryan added an empty-netter for his second of the game with 1:19 left.

Jay McClement also scored for Carolina, which ended a two-game losing streak. Cam Ward made 21 saves.

Joel Edmundson and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for St. Louis, which was coming off a 4-1 win over Chicago in the Winter Classic on Monday.

NOTES

CAPITALS: Center Evgeny Kuznetsov was fined $2,000 by the NHL for diving/embellishment. He was given a warning after an incident against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20 and then was fined as the result of an incident during the second period against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 29.


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