After looking lethargic on Saturday and snake-bitten yesterday, Winnipeg was finally able to put together a complete effort supported by a panoply of scoring from its top players.
Although a gorgeous tic-tac-toe goal off the skate of Matt Hendricks opened the scoring for the Caps, the Jets showed their mettle, rallying with four unanswered goals and easily coasting to their first victory of the year.
Evander Kane got things started with a powerplay marker midway through the first, which was followed by another man advantage tally by Andrew Ladd before the end of the opening frame.
Kane would factor in the scoring again in the second, making a fantastic individual play, exposing defenseman John Carlson before feathering a pass for Blake Wheeler to tap past an extended Braden Holtby. Then, with seconds remaining in the period, Jim Slater tipped a Dustin Byfuglien shot through the legs of Holtby, giving the Jets' a three goal lead.
Troy Brouwer added a powerplay goal of his own late in the third in vein as the Caps dropped their second straight to open their season.
Winnipeg will now have the next two days off before hosting Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
- Adam Oates has made some minor tweaks to the Capitals line-up by moving Alex Ovechkin to the right wing. It was a move that didn't really see any benefit as he was held to one secondary assist on the night.
- Speaking of that secondary assist, it came on a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal that went from Ovechkin to Nicklas Backstrom before redirecting off the skate of Matt Hendricks and past Ondrej Pavelec. Though many say it was a distinct kicking motion by Hendricks, I didn't see it as such. Feel free to call me a Caps' homer now.
- Winnipeg still had their struggles with defensive lapses -- particularly on the Hendricks goal. That said, the gaffes were much fewer than in recent games and they forced Washington to play predominantly on the perimeter. The Jets' finished the game with 7 turnovers while the Capitals had 10.
- Throughout the first two games, the Jets' hired-guns have been silent. This wasn't the case tonight as Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler carried the load offensively. Tobias Enstrom also chipped in with a quiet three assist performance.
- As we said here this morning, the team who won the special teams battle would win the game. Winnipeg's powerplay went 2/5 while Washington's was 1/4.
- James Wright's debut was subtle but effective as he displayed flashes of speed and sound positional hockey, in only 8:22 of TOI. Here's hoping coach Noel keeps him in the line-up a few games longer.
- It's hard to say anyone was impressive in a 4-2 loss, but I was surprised by the play of
Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom Mike GreenTomas Kundratek. He moved the puck effectively for the Caps and logged 11:00 TOI and was one of the few Caps who didn't look completely out of it.
- For Winnipeg, Ondrej Pavelec put in another solid performance, his second in as many days. While he wasn't overly challenged, he did a good job limiting rebounds and making the routine saves. Things are looking up for him.
- In their two games so far this year, the Washington Capitals have been outshot by a total of 65-47. Tough to win games when you're constantly being out-chanced.
- Finally, we can celebrate! After going 1-11-1 in the second half of back-to-back contests last year, the Jets' have started out their 2013 season with an unblemished record of 1-0-0 in b-2-b's. This year, the sky is the limit!