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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Capitals Pile On Goals, Hold Off Jets For 4th Straight Win



Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov

The Washington Capitals had a wild Sunday in Manitoba filled with injury news, updates, roster transactions and finally, an interesting game against the Winnipeg Jets. And for Washington, it ended on a positive note.

Washington took over the scoreboard in the second with four goals, and they also avoided a collapse, held off a furious rally en route to a hard-earned 5-2 win over the Jets,

The Capitals are now four points out of a Wild Card spot. Washington has also now won four straight games.

Here are all the takeaways from the victory:

Washington Capitals Bust Out For Four-Goal Second Period, Special Teams Impress

After struggling to really get much going in the second half of the opening frame, the Capitals turned on the jets and were all over the place in the second, and it paid off as they broke out for four goals.

Trevor van Riemsdyk opened the scoring with his first goal in 18 games, and he had the fourth line to thank. The Protas-Dowd-Hathaway trio was outstanding, generating some high-danger opportunities.

After that, Washington went on a 5-on-3 power play, and after missing out on the first PP chance, the club converted on the second. With the Jets gravitating toward the always-dangerous Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov wasn’t picked up in front, and he didn’t miss as he backhanded home his fourth of the season. The Capitals now have PPGs in six straight games and nine of their last 10 overall.

Later on, Winnipeg got a four-minute power play after Lars Eller got a double minor for high sticking. Washington’s special teams would step up again, this time on the penalty kill, as Kuznetsov got crafty and took away the puck before diving to get it to Marcus Johansson, who went on a breakaway and got a penalty shot after a slash from Josh Morrissey. Johansson made no mistake, pulling off a highlight-reel move to make it 3-0.

It marked Johansson’s second career SHG and his first in 11 years (Feb. 6, 2011). That was also the team’s first penalty shot goal since Mikhail Grabovski did it on a slap shot back on Dec. 8, 2013 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

And in his 900th career game, Eller would get on the board, burying a rebound off an Anthony Mantha shot to give D.C. the 4-0 lead. Eller has been red hot of late, and he now has points in four of his last five games and goals in back-to-back games. Mantha is also now on a three-game point streak.

Charlie Lindgren, Capitals Feel Push Back As Jets Turn Tables

After going up 4-0, the Capitals appeared to step off the gas a bit, while the Jets turned up the pressure big time. Through the first half of the second, Washington had dominated in shots on goal and scoring chances, and Winnipeg changed that when presented with the 4-0 deficit.

Adam Lowry got the Jets on the board 35 seconds into the third, and less than three minutes later, a 3-on-1 break the other way led to a Kyle Connor goal that pulled the score to 4-2. Head coach Peter Laviolette called a timeout to reset and get Washington back in the game after letting up a bit.

Thankfully for the Capitals, Charlie Lindgren stood tall and committed highway robbery on quite a few occasions. Washington also settled down a bit after the timeout.

Lindgren was phenomenal though and finished with 29 saves on 31 shots (.935 save percentage). He has been outstanding over this stretch and has gone undefeated since taking over for Darcy Kuemper, who remains day-to-day and is on the injured reserve.

Ovechkin Gets 797 With Fourth Straight Empty-Netter

And, of course, Alex Ovechkin got on the board. With the net empty in the third, Ovechkin threw the puck down the ice and hit the mark to make it 5-2. It’s his third straight game with an ENG, and his last four goals have all been empty netters.

The 37-year-old is now three goals away from 800, five from passing Gordie Howe and 98 away from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Dmitry Orlov picked up two assists in his first game back from his lower-body injury. He had missed the last 16 games, and he now has six assists through 14 games this season. He ended up skating 21:29 minutes and finishing with two helpers, three shots and two blocks. His first career assist was also against Winnipeg.
  • Kuznetsov is now on a five-game point streak.
  • Mantha has four points in his last three outings.
  • Lucas Johansen suited up and skated on the third pairing with Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev out. He logged 13:21 minutes and has two shots.
  • John Carlson picked up a helper and is now tied for the team lead in assists among defensemen with Nick Jensen and Erik Gustafsson (10 assists).
  • Aliaksei Protas had a great game and was moving his feet, generating chances and using his size and reach to his advantage. He was rewarded with an assist.