Game Blog: Jets vs Caps
The Jets take on the Capitals in the second half of the back-to-back at home as they look to rebound from last night's 4-0 loss.
The Winnipeg Jets (16-13-2) and Washington Capitals (13-16-1) will renew acquaintances less than 24 hours after they played to a 4-0 Capitals win on Thursday night. The loss dropped the Jets’ record in the season series to 1-2-0, with the visiting team winning each game. The last two games at MTS Centre have resulted in shutout wins for the Capitals, as they also beat the Jets 3-0 on Mar. 2. The Capitals are now 3-2-0 in their last five and are now in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Despite the loss on Thursday, the Jets are 6-2-1 in their last nine and currently hold down third in the East with the lead in the Southeast Division.
Clean path to the penalty box
The Jets were penalized three times on Thursday versus Washington (0-4 L) and remain one of the least penalized teams in the NHL. Winnipeg has gone to the penalty kill 95 times, more than only Minnesota (90) and Calgary (87). Winnipeg is the least penalized home team this season with a count of 36 times shorthanded at MTS Centre.
PK is OK
The Winnipeg Jets penalty kill has now been successful in defending 36 of their last 39 times shorthanded (92.3%). This span also included a streak of 29 consecutive penalty kills without allowing a goal from Feb. 24 to Mar. 17. The Jets penalty kill unit has a success rate of 77.9% (74-for-95) this season.
Trouble solving the goalie
The Jets have been shutout by Washington’s Braden Holtby in each of the last two games they’ve faced him: Mar. 2 (0-3 L) and Mar. 21 (0-4 L). The last time in franchise history the team was shut out by the same goalie two times in a row was Boston’s Tuukka Rask: Dec. 30/09 (0-4 L) and Mar. 23/10 (0-4 L).
The Southeast Division could look very different in a week from now as the Jets will play three divisional games in the next five days. This slate of Southeast games comes after playing division rival Washington on Thursday (0-4 L). The Jets retained the top spot in the division on Thursday night as both Winnipeg and Carolina suffered losses. Winnipeg remains atop the division with 34 points, followed by Carolina (32 points), Tampa Bay (27 points), Washington (27 points) and Florida (24 points). The Jets have a record of 5-5-0 against Southeast Division rivals this season. Winnipeg had the best interdivision record in the Southeast last season going 14-6-4.
Rare home set with Washington
The crowd at MTS Centre used to see the same team on back-to-back nights only when the AHL’s Manitoba Moose were hosting. Now the Winnipeg Jets are hosting the Capitals on Thursday and Friday this week in a rare NHL home set – two games in two days in one city. It’s never happened in the franchise’s history dating back to the 1999-00 season. There are three home sets scheduled this NHL season. The other two are: LA vs. PHX on March 18 & 19, EDM vs. ANA on April 21 & 22.
4:12: Brooks Laich and Blake Wheeler found themselves tangled in a pushing match along the boards early in the first period. Each sat for roughing minors. Karl Alzner took an extra minor for slashing on the play putting the Jets on the first advantage of the night.
| Brooks Laich shorthanded breakaway. How did that puck not go in? They're going upstairs to check I believe.
8:24: With Olesky in the box for holding, Brooks Laich found himself on a shorthanded breakaway. He charged across the line and snapped a shot right on Pavelec, who made the save but Jay Beagle gave him a tap that knocked him into his net. The play was under review but it was not conclusive that the puck crossed the line and the game remained scoreless.
12:10: CAPITALS GOAL: Laich found the back of the net shortly after the reviewed play and put his team on the board. Mike Ribeiro found Laich inside the circle who fired the puck past Pavelec. 1-0.
16:05: CAPITALS GOAL: Troy Brower increased the lead to 2-0 after a turnover in their own end. Ribeiro carried the puck up ice into the Jets zone with Brower with him, He sent a nice feed onto his tape in the slot to one-time the puck into the back of the net. 2-0.
After 20 minutes, the Jets trailed the Caps 2-0, but the Jets held a 10-7 edge in shots.
| Going back to Jan 23rd meeting, @washcaps Holtby has now stopped all 70 SOG vs @NHLJets in 8 straight SO Periods
5:50: CAPITALS GOAL: Jay Beagle added a third goal for Washington as Joel Ward connected with him in the slot to finish the play and make it 3-0.
Al Montoya got the tap to replace Ondrej Pavelec in net after the Capitals scored their third of the night.
7:35: CAPITALS GOAL: Alex Ovechkin picked up his 14th of the season to widen the gap to four. Marcus Johansson and Karl Alzner pick up the helpers on the goal and it's 4-0 Caps.
| A reminder that even if the Jets lose tonight, they will still be 3rd place in the Eastern Conference.
1:52: CAPITALS GOAL: Mike Green struck for the Capitals again early in the final frame as he blasted a slap shot from the point that flew past a screened Montoya. Dmitry Orlov picked up the first assist with the feed.
9:51: JETS GOAL: Dustin Byfuglien broke the shutout near the midway mark of the final frame as he moved the puck around his defender at the blueline and fired a shot on net that snuck through Braden Holtby. Grant Clitsome and Andrew Ladd picked up the helpers on the Jets first goal of the night. 5-1 Caps.
| It took 9 1/2 periods and 89 sog for @NHLJets to finally beat @washcaps Holtby since last time they scored on him
That's how this one would end, as the Washington Capitals take the back-to-back sweep from the Jets in Winnipeg. The Jets will have a day off before welcoming the Tampa Bay Lightning Sunday night. Game time is 7pm on TSN Jets.