Capitals-Jets Preview

The Winnipeg Jets can get untracked at the MTS Centre by
sweeping a brief homestand and building even more momentum to take
back on the road.

Looking to win consecutive home games for the first time in
almost a month, the Jets try for a season-high fourth straight
victory and fifth in a row over the Washington Capitals on
Saturday.

Fresh off a 4-1 trip, Winnipeg (10-9-1) snapped a four-game home
slide with a 3-1 victory over New Jersey on Thursday. Andrew Ladd
scored 8 seconds in and added the go-ahead goal in the third period
to help the Jets improve to 4-5-0 at home.

Winnipeg has scored first in seven straight contests, winning
five.

“We’ve got to get the lead early and try to keep that lead,”
defenseman Zach Bogosian said. “Learn how to play with the lead and
keep that up.”

With a four-game, six-day trip starting Tuesday, the Jets would
like to stay hot by posting their first back-to-back home victories
since a three-game run Jan. 25-Feb. 5. They scored more than two
goals for the first time in five games at the MTS Centre while
allowing a season low in the building Thursday.

Ladd has scored eight of his team-leading 12 goals and has three
assists in the last nine.

“I think right now our team is certainly driven by him and it
shows,” coach Claude Noel said. “It doesn’t matter whether he
scores or doesn’t or gets points, but he’s a hard-driving guy and
he expects a lot from himself.”

Noel would like to see improvement on a power play that’s 1 for
29 over the last 11 games. The Jets, however, have killed 16 of 19
penalties in the last six.

Ladd and Evander Kane each scored power-play goals in Winnipeg’s
4-2 win at Washington on Jan. 22, its fourth straight in the
series. The franchise is in the midst of an 8-1-1 stretch against
the Capitals (7-11-1).

Ladd has nine goals and nine assists in his last 19 games versus
Washington. Kane, who had a career high-tying eight-game point
streak snapped Thursday, has nine goals with four assists in his
last 11 in the series – his most scores against any opponent since
2010-11.

Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec has a 1.58 goals-against average while
in net for the last 10 against the Capitals.

Last in the Eastern Conference with 15 points, Washington
outscored New Jersey and Carolina 8-1 to win its two games prior to
Wednesday’s 4-1 loss at Philadelphia. Joel Ward scored late and
Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing all four on 18 shots in
less than two periods.

“This is not what we wanted, obviously,” said Holtby, who made
33 saves in a 3-0 win over the Hurricanes a night earlier. “But
there are a lot of things we can learn from here.”

Though the defeat was the third in eight games for the Capitals,
they can’t afford to take a step back in their progression.

“We’re still not where we want to be completely, but we’re
getting back there,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It’s not a good
loss, but hopefully it doesn’t set us back more than one game.”

Washington star Alex Ovechkin was held without a point after
totaling five in the previous two. He has four goals and three
assists in the last six against the Jets.