Winnipeg at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
Braden Holtby finally finished a shutout Monday, and as the Washington Capitals host the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday they realize their fortune of having one of the NHL’s best goaltenders to go along with a powerful offense. Holtby won his 12th game of the season to tie Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers for the league lead with a 1-0 victory over Edmonton -- his first shutout after losing five in the third period this season.
“Honestly, we lose that game if he’s not in the net,” Washington forward Tom Wilson told reporters Monday in describing Holtby, who ranks near the top of the league in goals against average (1.88) while posting a .926 save percentage over 16 games. The Capitals are among the league leaders in goals scored per game (3.05), recording four or more eight times, but showed Monday they can win a defensive struggle. The Jets open a three-game road trip looking to fire up an offense that posted only 21 shots on goal in Monday’s 4-1 home defeat to Colorado – the third time in four games Winnipeg has mustered 23 shots or fewer. “I don’t know if ‘drastically’ is too strong of a word, but there’s a bit of a theme,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told the media after Tuesday’s practice.TV:
7 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), CSN DC (Washington)ABOUT THE JETS (10-10-2):
There is plenty of focus on Winnipeg’s goaltending situation, with Ondrej Pavelec sidelined until January at the earliest with a sprained knee and Michael Hutchinson playing well Monday before allowing three goals in the final 24 minutes. Highly-touted prospect Connor Hellebuyck was promoted after Pavelec’s injury and is poised to make his NHL debut at some point this week as the Jets play three times in four nights. Forward Blake Wheeler leads Winnipeg with 22 points and recorded an assist Monday, just his second point in the past five games.ABOUT THE CAPITALS (14-5-1):
Washington has been strong at home, going 8-3-1 and winning five of its past seven contests at Verizon Center. Any conversation about the Capitals’ offense starts with forward Alex Ovechkin, who became the NHL’s all-time leader in goals scored by a Russian-born player last week and tops the team with 10, but center Evgeny Kuznetsov (21 points, including 14 assists) and center Nicklas Backstrom (16 points) are off to strong starts. Holtby has won four starts in a row and has surrendered 10 goals in his past seven games.OVERTIME
1. The Jets have allowed 13 power-play goals in 11 November games, while going 2-for-38 on the power play during the same stretch.
2. Washington D Dmitry Orlov has scored in back-to-back games after not recording a goal in his first 18 contests this season.
3. The Capitals rank in the top five in the NHL in penalty kill (85.2 percent), surrendering just one power-play tally in the past five contests.PREDICTION:
Capitals 5, Jets 2
Stats and Records