Capitals 4, Jets 0

It was just another day in the office for Alexander

Ovechkin.

Even though scored once, added a pair of assists and threw in a

couple of heavy hits in Washington’s 4-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets

on Thursday, Ovechkin didn’t think it was much to brag about.

”If I have a chance to hit, why not?” the Capitals’ captain

said.

Ovechkin boosted his team’s intensity level by crushing Jets

defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Bryan Little in the second

period, sending the former to the dressing room.

Stuart came back for one shift in the third period, but left the

ice again. Jets head coach Claude Noel didn’t have an update on his

condition.

Braden Holtby made 20 saves in his fourth shutout of the season

and second against the Jets. He also blanked Winnipeg 3-0 on March

2, the only times Winnipeg has been shut out this season.

Nicklas Backstrom scored once and had an assist for Washington,

while Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson added goals as well.

Ondrej Pavelec faced 25 shots as the Jets, who had their

three-game home winning streak snapped.

Winnipeg stayed in the Southeast Division’s top spot and third

place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Carolina

Hurricanes, who lost 4-1 to New Jersey on Thursday night.

The Jets and Washington play again Friday night in Winnipeg.

”It’s nice that it’s a short turnaround and we have a chance to

redeem ourselves right away,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said.

Washington coach Adam Oates said Ovechkin was ”good” and

”solid.”

”We’ve talked a lot about this, and he was more involved in the

game,” Oates said. ”He needs to do the little things that let his

game evolve and let Backie and Marcus evolve their games as

well.

”He ends up getting his goal, the (power play). It was late,

but it doesn’t matter, he’s going to get it. He made a great play

on the second goal and then he makes a good play on Backie’s

(goal).”

After a scoreless second period, Pavelec took a delay of game

penalty late in the third and it proved costly.

With Olli Jokinen serving the penalty, Ovechkin scored his 13th

goal of the season. Backstrom sent a pass to Ovechkin and he fired

it high on Pavelec’s glove side at 14:06.

It was then Ovechkin’s turn to send a pass to Backstrom in the

high slot and he put the puck between Pavelec and the post at 18:22

of the third.

Noel had no answers for what happened to his Jets, but said he’d

look at the film and try to find a solution for Friday.

”We need to play better, that would be the first thing,” he

said. ”We’ve given up seven goals in two games (against

Washington) and haven’t scored one. They’re playing chess, we’re

playing checkers.”

Brouwer opened the game’s scoring with a wrist shot from near

the bottom of the faceoff circle that beat Pavelec at 3:06 of the

first period, extending his points streak to three games (two

goals, two assists).

Brooks Laich assisted on the goal for his first point of the

season after making his season debut March 19 following a lengthy

groin injury.

Late in the first, Ovechkin sent the puck past Winnipeg

defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to Johansson, who redirected it into

the net at 16:22 for the 2-0 lead.

Capitals defenseman Mike Green was back on the ice after missing

10 games with a groin injury, which Oates said allowed fellow

blue-liner John Carlson to have a bit of rest.

”We keep him a little fresher, maybe a little sharper,” Oates

said. ”It trickles down through the lineup.”