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Holtby helps Caps blank Jets
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Braden Holtby stopped all 35 shots he faced in a strong performance between the pipes that propelled the Washington Capitals to a 3-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
Mike Ribeiro tallied a goal and an assist to help the improving Capitals to their third win in four games -- though Washington still sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings -- with Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouwer also notching goals in the triumph.
The previously surging Jets, meanwhile, had a three-game win streak halted and were shut out for the first time this season. Ondrej Pavelec recorded 18 saves in the setback.
Washington came out sluggish during a first period in which it was outshot by a 15-5 margin, but Holtby came up with several key saves to keep the game scoreless and the Caps dominated play in the second to enter the final 20 minutes owning a 1-0 edge.
With just over nine minutes left in the middle session, Ribeiro waited patiently near the right circle before sending a pinpoint pass that Hendricks deflected past Pavelec while skating to the net to break the stalemate.
"In the second period we started to take it over, I thought," said Capitals head coach Adam Oates. "I thought we really had a good second and after that you feel good about yourself."
Winnipeg nearly drew even before the teams went in for the second break, but Grant Clitsome's drive around three minutes prior to the intermission clanked off the left post before Holtby covered it up.
The Capitals then broke the game open with a pair of scores less than a minute apart early in the third.
Brouwer blasted a shot over Pavelec's glove following a faceoff win by Nicklas Backstrom to put Washington up 2-0 at the 3:24 mark of the frame. Just 42 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin skated in alone on the Winnipeg netminder, who turned back the two-time MVP's attempt but couldn't prevent a trailing Ribeiro from knocking home the rebound.
"I think when you're the home team, you don't want to let a road team off the hook," said Jets forward Evander Kane. "I thought we did that, especially going into the second period. In terms of the third period, just some breakdowns defensively and the pucks (end up) in the back of our net."
Holtby polished off his third shutout of the season with a 16-save effort in the final period, with seven of those stops occurring during a two-minute power play that Winnipeg received shortly after Ribeiro's goal.
The Capitals ended a string of four straight losses in the series that included a 4-2 defeat in Washington on Jan. 22 ... Washington defenseman Mike Green sat out the contest after recently aggravating a groin injury that had kept him out of three of the club's previous five tests ... Jets forward Anthony Peluso left the game with an upper-body injury sustained during a first-period fight with Aaron Volpatti, who was making his Washington debut after being claimed off waivers from Vancouver on Thursday ... Winnipeg had a stretch of seven straight games of scoring the first goal end, the second- longest streak in the NHL this season behind only Washington's eight in a row from Feb. 7-26 ... The Jets went 0-for-3 on the power play and are now 1- for-32 with the man advantage over their last 12 games.
03/02 19:12:20 ET