The Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to a season-best five games.
Atkinson scored the second of two Columbus goals in the first period and he finished off the scoring early in the third. Columbus also came up with scores from Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski and Mark Letestu.
Philipp Grubauer opened in net for the Capitals and was removed early in the second period after giving up three goals on 14 shots. It was Washington's fourth straight loss.
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