The Winnipeg Jets are trying to stave off the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference and entered winners of three in a row and 10-2-2 in their past 15 home games.
You can add one to the win column in both cases, as the Jets scored a goal in each period and Ondrej Pavelec made 28 saves, some spectacular, to shut out the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Saturday at the MTS Center, halting the Caps modest three-game winning streak.
It ends the Caps (39-24-10) seven-game winning streak against Winnipeg. Washington is now two points behind Pittsburgh for third in the Metro, and the Penguins have a game in hand with 10 to play. The Caps are four points ahead of Boston, who has a game, and five clear of Ottawa, who has two games in hand and sit outside the playoffs currently.
Winnipeg got the scoring started halfway through the first. Drew Stafford carried down the left wing, centered to Mark Scheifle in the slot which drew all the defenders, and Scheifle flicked to Mark Stuart, alone to his right for the unmolested attempt and goal.
It was Scheifle doing the damage in the second. This time, Stafford picked John Carlson’s pocket on the Caps goal line and knocked it to Blake Wheeler, who then found Scheifle cruising through the slot by himself and he buried it.
Pavelec saved his best for late. With just under five minutes to go, the Caps streaked in on a rush and Marcus Johansson found Mike Green alone on the doorstop, but Pavelec was able to slide across the crease and snare Green’s wrister to preserve the shutout.
Winnipeg added an empty net short-handed goal from their own zone by Adam Lowry with 1:22 left in the game.
- Washington hit four posts in the contest.
- The Caps top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Johansson managed four shots on goal, two apiece by Ovechkin and Backstrom. Ovechkin had six attempts blocked and missed on five.
- The Caps were o for 3 on the power play, but also killed all three short-handed situations.
- Troy Brouwer wiped out 50 seconds of power play time early in the third period with an elbowing penalty.
- Two-and-a-half minutes later, Michael Latta was called for high-sticking. The combined penalties made it hard to engineer a comeback.
- Braden Holtby made 21 saves on 23 shots.