The Winnipeg Jets came into this game winning five of their last six games and had a chance to win over the top position in the Southeast Division...but things didn't quite go as planned, as they fell 3-0 at the hands of the Washington Capitals.
It was a scoreless tie near the halfway mark of the second period until Matt Hendricks pot his fourth of the season to make it 1-0 Capitals. Then two quick goals less than a minute apart early in the third period widened the gap to three, and the Jets just couldn't find a way to beat Braden Holtby.
The Jets led the entire game in shots and the final shot clock read 35-21. They also dominated in the hits category as well, more than doubling the Caps hits 32-13.
Winnipeg will hit the road tomorrow to embark on a four game road-trip to play three games in Florida before wrapping it up in New Jersey next Sunday. Catch Tuesday's game on TSN Jets at 6:30 against the Panthers.
The Jets penalty kill was put to the test early after Bryan Little took a holding minor just 41 seconds into the opening period. The Capitals, although sitting third best in the league on the power play, only landed one shot on net and Pavelec shut the door to keep the game scoreless.
With 2:10 left on the clock in the first period, and both teams still searching for a goal, the crowd desperately needed something to cheer about. So, Anthony Peluso and Aaron Volpatti decided to drop the gloves in a wild one that brought the fans to their feet.
Time ran down in the period and the Jets and Capitals went to their dressing room in a scoreless tie. The Jets lead 15-5 in shots and 15-7 in the hits column. Ron Hainsey led the Jets with 7:29 of ice-time.
The Jets would have to play out the rest of the game without Peluso has he suffered an upper body injury late in the first period and did not come out in the second period.
The Capitals slowly clawed back on the shot clock but the game remained scoreless through the first ten minutes of the middle frame.
The best chance of the period went to the Capitals when Mathieu Perreault wristed a shot on net that Pavelec got a blocker on. The rebound spit out onto the stick of Jason Chimera who was charging hard through the slot. With a wide open net, Chimera fired a shot that looked like a sure goal but Pavelec got across just in time to make a huge glove save.
Then, with 9:04 left to play in the period, the Caps broke the scoreless tie. Mike Ribeiro waited patiently inside the circle for Matt Hendricks to find some space down low. Ribeiro sent a nice pass onto his stick for him to lift the puck over Pavelec. 1-0 Capitals.
Just before the goal, Blake Wheeler blocked a shot that rang off his right foot causing him to drop to ice in pain. He was helped off the ice and was escorted straight to the dressing room.
With 2:48 remaining in the period, Wheeler did come back for a 15 second shift but wasn't able to skate like he'd hoped and went off right back to the dressing room.
Through 40 minutes, the Jets trailed 1-0 but held a 19-18 edge in shots.
Troy Brouwer made it 2-0 Washington at 3:24 of the third period after Nicklas Backstrom won the face-off to the right of Pavelec. Brouwer sent a fluttering puck that just clipped a defender in front and flew into the net.
Then less than a minute later, the Caps widened the gap to 3-0. Alex Ovechkin marched into the Jets zone and took a shot on Pavelec that was spit out but unfortunately, Mike Ribeiro was there to send home the rebound.
Things began to heat up at 12:15 after Zach Bogosian made a huge hit on Perreault in the Jets corner. The hit turned into a pushing and shoving match resulting in each man sitting for roughing penalties. The Caps got an extra slashing minor in the play sending the Jets to the power play.
The Jets took a late penalty in the game, making it tough to turn things around and claw back from a three goal deficit and fell 3-0 to the Capitals in the end.