Capitals Outlast Jets Behind Erat’s Shootout Winner
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Martin Erat scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout and the Washington Capitals escaped with a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist for the Capitals, and Mikhail Grabovski and Troy Brouwer also scored.
Bryan Little struck twice for Winnipeg, including the tying score in the third period, and Grant Clitsome and Blake Wheeler also scored. The Jets wrapped up a six-game homestand, their longest of the season. Andrew Ladd had three assists.
The Jets outshot the Capitals 47-32 and created most of the best scoring opportunities, including a short-handed two-on-one thanks to Dustin Byfuglien.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby had to deal with breakaways throughout the game and stopped some of Winnipeg’s best shooters.
After a scoreless first period, Washington opened the scoring at 3:11 of the second, the first of six goals in the middle frame.
Grabovski scored his fourth goal of the season when he swept in and put a loose puck behind goalie Ondrej Pavelec after Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian failed to clear it.
Little brought the Jets even when he and Ladd broke away short-handed at 7:21. It was the Jets’ second breakaway of the penalty with Evander Kane failing to get past Holtby one-on-one.
Then just over a minute later Byfuglien fed Clitsome, who slapped his first goal of the season in from the point to give the Jets the 2-1 lead.
Holtby dealt with shot after shot throughout most of the second, but Washington caught a break when Ovechkin broke away at 15:51 to beat Pavelec one-on-one to even it at 2-2.
Then Ovechkin was fed off the faceoff beside the Winnipeg net and slipped one through the crowd at 18:02 to give the Capitals a short-lived lead.
Wheeler tipped in a shot from Kane with 38 seconds left in the second period to even it up again.
Brouwer finally connected with a power-play goal just under five minutes into the third period. The Jets had successfully shut down the best power play in the NHL until then.
But Little evened it up with a wrist shot from the slot at 7:04 as the Jets continued to play much of the game in front of the Washington net.
NOTES: Going into Tuesday’s game, the Jets had a record of 4-4-1 against Washington since the start of their inaugural 2011-12 season in Winnipeg in the Southeast Division.
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