Jets @ Caps | Tue Jan 22 | 6PM | Verizon Center | Game 3 | "The Ovechkin Menace"
"THE OVECHKIN MENACE"
JETS (0-1-1) at CAPITALS (0-1-0)
TV: TSN, CSN-DC
[b]Season series: First of five meetings between these Southeast Division rivals. Winnipeg took
the final three matchups to prevail in last season's series. Capitals star Alex Ovechkin led
all scorers with four goals. Evander Kane led the Jets with three goals, while Ondrej Pavelec
posted a 4-1-1 mark in net.
Big story: It's the home opener for Washington at Verizon Center, and new coach Adam Oates will
take a second crack at his first NHL victory. Trying to deny him will be a Winnipeg squad
looking to avoid dropping its third straight to start the season.
Jets: The team with the 12th-ranked offense in the League last season at 2.70 goals per game is
off to a sputtering start. After dropping its season opener on home ice to Ottawa by a 4-1
score, Winnipeg was again held to a single goal Monday afternoon in Boston. Pavelec secured a
point for the Jets by stopping 26 of 27 shots, but when the game went to a shootout he was
beaten twice by the Bruins, negating a goal by Blake Wheeler.
"We're going to take the positives, clean up a couple of things, a couple of areas but, for the
most part, this is a game we can build off," Chris Thorburn, who scored for the Jets in
regulation, told the Winnipeg Free Press. "That's the kind of game we need to play every night:
puck possession, being strong on pucks, support and being physical. We just fell short.
Hopefully tomorrow will be a different outcome."
Capitals: The first order of business for Washington in its home opener will be establishing a
lead. The Capitals erased three separate one-goal deficits over the first two periods of their
season opener in Tampa Bay, but fell 6-3 as the result of a three-goal blitz by the Lightning
in the third. Ovechkin was held off the score sheet, but the Caps received a couple of goals
from Joel Ward and one from Wojtek Wolski in his team debut. Fellow newcomer Mike Ribeiro had a
pair of assists.
"I think some of the mistakes came from conditioning," Oates told the team's official website.
"We got tired at times. The game went in waves. We can't really give them a 5-on-3 at the start
of the third period. That obviously hurt us. We came back at the end of the second, and to have
to do it again, we knew it was going to be difficult."
Who's hot: Pavelec has a solid 2.40 goals-against average and .922 save percentage through two
starts, though backup Al Montoya could be in line to make his first appearance for the Jets in
the second night of a back-to-back. … Ward's two goals has him a third of the way to his total
from all of last season, his first with the Capitals. Defenseman John Carlson had an assist,
four blocked shots and a plus-2 rating.
Injury report: Winnipeg continues to operate without defenseman Zach Bogosian (wrist) and
forward Antti Miettinen (upper body).
Washington defenseman Jack Hillen (upper body) is on injured reserve, while forward Brooks
Laich (groin) is expected to miss a couple weeks.
Knocked it out as usual YWG. Love the H&L bonus...is it just me or does Gary look better in that picture? For the most part loved the compete level of the guys yesterday and we need more of the same today. May the Puck be with us.
I'm confident... but if I think about it... it's a back to back for us, not for the caps... we will probably start Montoya today. It will depend on him. I predict: If Montoya has a good game we win 4-2, if Montoya is rusty and struggles (more likely unfortunately) we'll lose it in OT.
A much better game yesterday, but this one scares me a bit. We were horrible on the back to backers last year. With the short season we can't afford to dig too deep of a hole to start. I'm really hoping Noel gives Scheifele more of an opportunity to show his stuff tonight. Off to work I go...I guess I can't take all game days off.
1 win in 13 back-to-backs last season, not to mention this one is on the road. Time to change our ways here.
We'll have our hands full tonight. This will be a huge test for us in that this is what our season will be all about. Tough games after tough games. Not a lot of time to prepare whether you're coming off a win or a loss.
If Scheifele doesn't get at least 15 minutes of icetime tonight on a top line I am going to be disappointed.
Big test for us. I am looking forward to how we respond.