The Washington Capitals fell to the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1 in overtime Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg. The loss dropped the Caps to 18-6-1 and the Jets climbed above .500 to 13-12-1.
Brooks Orpik missed his 11th straight game since sustaining a lower body injury in Detroit on November 1oth. Marcus Johansson was scratched with a lower body injury. Johansson’s absence from the lineup ends a stretch of 106 consecutive games; The last game Johansson missed was the final game of ’13-14 season. The starting lines for the Capitals:
Chris Brown was a healthy scratch.
Braden Holtby continued his high level of play, consistent with recent games, making numerous big saves in the early going. The Caps were outshot 17-6 in the first period, continuing a disturbing trend in the last three games. The Caps stepped up the attack zone pressure in the middle frame, tying the game and closing the gap in SOG to 25-20.
A good, crisp start by both teams in the first five minutes, with plenty of end-to-end play. Taylor Chorney was called for the games’ first penalty (interference) at the 7:16 mark of the opening period. The Caps would be able to successfully kill off the penalty. The Caps would step up the offensive zone pressure in the back half of the opening frame. Alex Ovechkin would ring one off the cross-bar. The Caps would be called for the games second penalty, a hooking call on Stanislav Galiev at 12:33 of the period. Jason Chimera would be called for tripping at 13:53, giving the Jets a 5-on-3 for 36 seconds, however Braden Holtby would come up big with several stops, killing the 5-on-3 advantage. Holtby and the Caps defense would continue strong play on the 5-on-4 Jets advantage, and would kill off the second penalty without damage. The Caps would lead get their first power play at the 16:39 mark, but would be unable to generate much in the way of offensive zone pressure. Michael Latta and Tom Wilson would both get into fights with Jets at the same time with a 1:03 left in the period.
The Jets would score on the resulting power play with 6 seconds remaining in the period, as Andrew Ladd would connect on a top-shelf snipe.
The period would end with the Jets leading 1-0. The Jets led in shots on goal, 17-6.
The Capitals would go on the power play at the 1:41 mark of the second period, but the Caps would be unable to generate much in the way of chances. Evgeny Kuznetsov was called for hooking at 7:58 , giving the Jets their fifth power play of the game, all before the mid-way point of the contest. The Caps would kill off the penalty. Tom Wilson would draw a roughing penalty on Anthony Peluso at the 14:13 mark of the middle stanza. Nicklas Backstrom would quickly tie the game on a snipe from the right circle.
Tom Wilson would draw another penalty on the heals of the Backstrom equalizer, but would be unable to cash in on the man advantage. The period would end with the game tied 1-1. The Jets led in SOG 25-20 after two periods.
The Jets opened the final frame with a series of offensive chances but to no avail. An end-to-end battle for most of the period with both sides seeing several scoring chances, but the goalie play was once again the difference. The third period would go scoreless.
Coach Trotz started the 3-on-3 overtime period with Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nate Schmidt and Matt Niskanen. The Jets would score the game-ender with 20 seconds left in the overtime period on a wrister by Mark Scheifele.
Coach Trotz utilized a coaches challenge, saying the Jets were offsides on the game-winning goal. After nearly five minutes of tablet-sized review, the refs called it a good goal.