Washington Capitals 4 Winnipeg Jets 2 (Jets 28-26-5, road 14-15-1) – The win was the sixth straight game that the Caps have beaten the Jets, snapping the Jets winning streak at three.
The Jets have still won nine of 12, and five of seven on the road. They are 2-1 on this four game trip, with three straight games against Eastern Conference teams. They close with a divisional game in St. Louis Saturday afternoon. (TSN Jets, TSN 1290). Then it's the Olympic break with the Jets back in action on Feb. 27 at home against Phoenix. With Vancouver losing, the Jets still sit two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the west. The Jets will close with 22 games in 44 days.
Troy Brouwer and Bryan Little exchanged goals in the first, as the period ended 1-1 with shots favoured the Jets 14-11. Braden Holtby stopped the initial shot by Little, but the rebound bounced in off Martin Erat. For Little it was his 18th of the year. Andrew Ladd assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to four games, 1-4-5.
The Jets took the lead in the second on a nice three-way passing play between Olli Jokinen, Devin Setoguchi and Dustin Byfuglien, Byfuglien getting the goal, his 13th of the year. Jets outshot the Caps 16-7 in the second.
The third period started with the Caps on their fourth power play of the game, but they were unable to beat Ondrej Pavelec. But they seemed to build momentum off the man advantage with Tom Wilson tying the game at 3:38. Then the league's top goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin poked home a loose puck for his 40th of the year to give the Caps the lead. Toby Enstrom was tied up in front with Nicklas Backstrom who ended up on top of Pavelec, but the goal stood. Late in the period Brouwer with his second of the night put the game away. Caps outshot the Jets 12-6 in the third as the Jets appeared to run out of steam.
The Jets had 50 hits in the game, 12 by Mark Stuart. Enstrom led the Jets in ice time at 25:07, Byfuglien in shots on goal with six. The Caps came into the game leading the NHL in power play goals, but the Jets penalty kill was again terrific, going four for four. In the last five road games the Jets are 16-for-16 on the PK. For the first time since Paul Maurice took over, Stuart and Jacob Trouba were on the minus side of the plus-minus stats. After not getting a power play in Carolina, the Jets just had one in this game.
“They got some breaks and bounces,” said Maurice post-game. “Proud of our effort through two periods, couldn't make it three. We spent a lot of energy on the four penalty kills. They got better in the third, their “D” got involved. We'll leave this game here and move on.”
During the break the Jets have planned an outdoor practice that is free to the public at the Forks on Feb. 23.