Gameday Preview: Washington Capitals at Winnipeg Jets

USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets rekindle an old Southeast Division rivalry when the Washington Capitals pay a visit to Winnipeg on Tuesday evening.

Preview:

The Washington Capitals turned their season around last time they paid a visit to Winnipeg, the Jets hope to prevent a similar scenario from playing out on Tuesday night. The Winnipeg Jets are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Sunday where the score looked worse than the actual play on the ice.

Washington is off to a slow start to the season, but they are 27th in PDO right now, meaning that their puck luck is likely to improve moving forward. While the Capitals are struggling as a whole, Alexander Ovechkin is still his scary self. He has seven goals in eight games and is probably keeping Claude Noel up late tonight.

The Jets have been consistently inconsistent so far this season (really since their return to Winnipeg). It is hard to provide a blueprint for what they should or should not do when their performance levels are all over the map. It is better than being consistently bad, but it would be nice if they could develop some consistent good habits.

Keys to the game:

Winnipeg Jets

Depth minutes: With some injuries hitting the roster, there are several borderline NHLers who are being forced into action. If guys like Adam Pardy and Patrice Cormier can be serviceable it would ease the load on the rest of the roster.

Stay out of the box: The Jets have taken the fourth most minor penalties in the league. They do not want to give a struggling team with a good power play extra offensive opportunities.

Bogosian steps up: Zach Bogosian's play has been a bit shaky this season. With Jacob Trouba out and Grant Clitsome not playing great since coming back from injury, the team needs a reliable defenseman that can be counted on besides Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom.

Washington Capitals

Secondary scoring: When it comes to the Capitals, primary scoring means Alexander Ovechkin, and secondary scoring means everybody else. Aside from Mikhail Grabovski's strong opening game, the Capitals have gotten next to nothing from the bulk of their lineup. They need that to change.

Start strong: Only four teams have less first period goals than Washington. They are going to have to stop digging early holes.

Key on Kane: Evander Kane has four goals in the last four games. If they shut Kane down, the odds of a win go up dramatically.

Player to boo mercilessly:

Steve Oleksy - His name is a little too close to Sara Orlesky's for comfort. Fans should protect her territory.

Prediciton:

Washington Capitals - 4

Winnipeg Jets - 2

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