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Preview: Winnipeg Jets vs Washington Capitals

Ovechkin versus Laine. Jedi vs Sith. Spaghetti vs Milk. A clash for the ages.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Where to watch/listen

Broadcast Schedule
Broadcast Schedule
Time: 7:00 P.M. CDT
Radio: TSN1290, KFAN 100.3

The Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals met two times during the 2017-18 season, with both of those games going to overtime, with the home team emerging the victor each time. Both teams had good seasons, and one team had a slightly better post-season than the other.

This year, the Capitals have been a little slow out of the gate, as they lurk around the wildcard spots in the Eastern Conference. Part of this has been due to sub-par goaltending, with the normally reliable Braden Holtby struggling with a .900 save percentage.

Starting goaltenders with slow starts is a commonality between the two teams, as Connor Hellebuyck show flashes of brilliance, but has had a few stinker games hurt his numbers so that they sit at average-ish, rather than among the league leaders.

Speaking of league leaders, Blake Wheeler is tied for the league lead in assists with Mikko Rantanen, as both players have 20 helpers. Wheeler has exploded offensively of late, with 13 points in his last five games, with some lengthy rests in there likely doing him some good.

The Winnipeg Jets are also leading the league in power play efficiency, scoring 34% of their chances, with the Caps not far off sitting in second at 31.5.

The Jets sit three point back of the Minnesota Wild, and with two games in hand and playing against a team that played yesterday, could use this opportunity to move closer to catching them.

But this is the Stanley Cup champions, and I don’t expect this one to be easy.

Tale of the Tape

Winnipeg Jets Stats San Jose Sharks
Winnipeg Jets Stats San Jose Sharks
1-0-0 Series 0-1-0
14-9-1 Record 13-11-1
29 Points 27
3rd Central Division 4th Pacific
5th West Conference 8th West
4-1-0 Last 5 4-1-0
68 Goals For 73
73 Goals Against 83
Regular Season
Nikolaj Ehlers (11) Goals Evander Kane (12)
Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele (14) Assists Logan Couture (20)
Scheifele (22) Points Couture (25)
Connor Hellebuyck (11) Wins Martin Jones (10)
Hellebuyck (2.42) Goals Against Average Jones (3.18)
Hellebuyck (.928) Save Percentage Aaron Dell (.897)
15.5 (24th) Power Play % 19.5 (14th)
72.2 (29th) Penalty Kill % 91.4 (1st)

Enemy Territory

Washington Capitals Coverage: Japers’ Rink

Last Jets Game:

Winnipeg Jets 5-2 New Jersey Devils

Mark Scheifele had two goals and a helper, Blake Wheeler had a pair of assists and the Jets picked up their second straight 5-2 win since returning from Finland.

Last Capitals Game:

Washington Capitals 5-2 Minnesota Wild

5-2 wins seem to be a theme. The Caps were just down the road in Minnesota, helping out the Central Division standings situation.

Players to watch:

Winnipeg Jets

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Mathieu Perreault got a little banged up in practice on Tuesday, and it will be interesting to see how effective he is on Wednesday. He has four points in 16 games this year, but also has two goals in his last four games.

Washington Capitals

NHL: Preseason-St. Louis Blues at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Wilson returned to NHL action last night after an arbitrator shortened his suspension for some dumb reason. He scored a goal, and was immediately penalized for running over Devan Dubnyk in the process, with some assistance from Ryan Suter. We’ll see if Wilson can refrain from injuring anybody tonight.