Washington Capitals (32-17-6 SU, 26-29 PL, 32-23 O/U) vs. Winnipeg Jets (32-15-9 SU, 30-26 PL, 27-27-2 O/U)
NHL: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 9:00 p.m. EST
The Winnipeg Jets will be hoping to halt a two-game losing streak when they host the Washington Capitals at the MTS Centre on Tuesday night. Winnipeg is coming off consecutive losses to St. Louis and the Rangers. The Capitals have taken points in three straight outings, with a pair of victories over Columbus prior to an overtime setback against Detroit on Sunday.
Ovechkin on a roll
As the Capitals begin a four-game road trip on Tuesday, Alex Ovechkin is back in a familiar place–leading the NHL in goals. Ovechkin, who led the league in goals scored six times in a nine-season span before finishing with just 33 goals a season ago, already has reached that 33 mark in 2017-18 to help hist team to first place in the Metropolitan Division. Defense, though, has been a problem of late and head coach Barry Trotz was not happy with it following the Capitals’ 5-4 overtime loss to Detroit this past Sunday.
“We’ve just got to keep them out of our net a little bit,” Trotz said of the opponents.
Ovechkin is on pace for 49 goals (he has scored 50 or more seven times) and has 27 goals and 50 points in Washington’s 32 victories. The Capitals are a mediocre 4-3-3 in their past 10 outings.
Suddenly struggling, the Jets have lost consecutive home games for the first time this season following a 3-1 defeat at the Rangers’ hands last weekend. That marked only the fifth home loss of the season for Winnipeg, which slid two points behind Nashville in the Central Division.
“It’s a couple games here, a couple bumps,” forward Mathieu Perreault commented. “We’re going to put it behind us and move forward.”
Winnipeg had two goals disallowed against the Rangers while falling to 3-2-1 through six games of its current 10-game home-stand. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck owns 28 wins, and he did his best to pick up No. 29 while stopping 25 of 27 shots on Sunday–but it was not enough to avoid just his eighth regulation loss of the season. Patrik Laine started the week tied for 12th in the NHL with 25 goals and No. 1 with 14 power-play goals.
The Washington Capitals are:
- 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Western Conference
- 20-7 in their last 27 games against the Central Division
- 39-18 in their last 57 games against teams with winning records
The Winnipeg Jets are:
- 2-10 in their last 10 games against Washington
- 2-5 in their last seven home games against Washington
- 8-2-1 Under in their last 11 games against teams with winning records
Caps’ goalie Braden Holtby ranks second in the league in wins (28) this season. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom, who scored the game-winner against Columbus on Feb. 6, found the back of the net on a 6-on-4 with 16.7 seconds left in regulation this past Sunday. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov has 10 points (eight assists) during his current seven-game point streak. The Capitals are 7-3 in their last 10 against the Western Conference, 20-7 in their last 27 against the Central Division, 39-17 in their last 58 against winning opponents, and 52-20 in their last 72 playing on one day of rest. Winnipeg is 2-10 in the last 12 meetings between the two teams and 2-5 in its last seven at home against Washington. Look for those trends to continue