Holtby helps Caps down Jets
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Braden Holtby made 20 saves to notch his second consecutive shutout of the Winnipeg Jets in the Washington Capitals' 4-0 triumph at MTS Centre.
Alex Ovechkin aided Holtby's cause by registering a goal and two assists, while Nicklas Backstrom scored once and assisted on Ovechkin's tally in the victory. Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson also lit the lamp for Washington, which posted a 3-0 decision in its most recent visit to Winnipeg on Mar. 2 behind a 35-stop effort by Holtby.
The Southeast Division leading Jets lost for just the second time in five games, with Ondrej Pavelec accumulating 21 saves in the setback.
"I think today we turned a lot of pucks over there, turned a lot of pucks over in our zone too," Winnipeg forward Antti Miettinen admitted. "We're just not getting enough pressure in their zone."
Washington dominated from start to finish, scoring a pair of goals in the first period and later putting the game away with two more in the third.
An early Winnipeg giveaway led to Washington quickly jumping in front. Brouwer skated up the right side following the turnover, then got back the puck on a behind-the-net pass from Brooks Laich before firing a wrister from the left circle through Pavelec just 3:06 in.
Ovechkin pounced on a loose puck near the end of the frame and put a centering feed right on the stick of Johansson for a tip-in score 3:38 prior to the first intermission.
"The start obviously helps," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "You get into your game, and I thought we had a real good pace in the first period."
After a scoreless and uneventful second period in which the teams combined for only seven shots, the Capitals ended any hopes of a Winnipeg comeback.
Pavelec was called for delay of game for clearing the puck over the glass with 6:17 to go, and Washington capitalized when Ovechkin one-timed Backstrom's cross-ice pass for a 3-0 margin with just under six minutes left.
A 3-on-2 rush late in the game resulted in Backstrom's game-sealing marker, a snap shot that deflected off Jets defenseman Derek Meech and past Pavelec with 1:38 left to play.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow at the MTS Centre ... Defenseman Mike Green returned to the Washington lineup after missing the team's last 10 contests with a groin injury, while Laich was skating in only his second game this season after missing time with a groin problem of his own ... The Jets activated backup goaltender Al Montoya from injured reserve before the game. He had been sidelined since Mar. 13 with a lower-body injury ... Jets forward Andrew Ladd had a five-game point streak snapped.
03/21 23:46:36 ET