Jets Looking For 4th Consecutive Win
Wednesday night marks the second meeting of the season between two Southeast Division teams when the Washington Capitals (11-7-1) host the Winnipeg Jets (8-9-3).
While the Caps enjoyed their first win in five games, the surging Jets are riding their first 3-game winning streak of the season, which includes a decisive win over the Capitals in Winnipeg on November 17th.
In that game, the Jets were forced to deal with early adversity when Alex Semin scored short-handed 3:53 into the first. Just under 4 minutes later, Evander Kane put home his 1st of 2 goals of the night en route to a 4-1 win for Winnipeg.
The Jets are coming off of another offensively focused win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon. Although the Flyers were able to get within one, the Jets sealed the deal with an empty net goal late in the 3rd to seal the deal at 6-4. In their two meetings , the Jets have outscored the Flyers 15-12. In doing that, Winnipeg has scored more goals in 2 games than the Penguins and Capitals did in 4 games during the 2010-2011 season.
Finally back in the win column, the Capitals are looking to stay there during their 2nd game of a 3 game home stand.
Returning home from a 5 game road trip (1-3-1) which saw the team smashed by the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-1, the Capitals overcame their own adversity, fighting back in the 2nd period while trailing 2-0 against Phoenix. Washington would go on to win 4-3, with Alexander Ovechkin still struggling to find the net. He added 1 assist.
Capitals: After starting this season with 7 straight wins, Washington has fallen to 11-7-1 and although it's early in the season, their hold onto 8th place in the East is strenuous. Alex Semin was a healthy scratch on Monday for the first time since the 2003-04 season. The expectation is that he will be in the lineup vs the Jets. Dmitry Orlov was called up from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and played his 2nd NHL game with the Caps vs the Coyotes on Monday night. He's expected to be in the lineup on Wednesday.
Injuries: Tom Poti (groin), Jay Beagle (concussion), Mike Green (groin), John Erskine (shoulder).
Jets: Winnipeg will be hoping for a strong showing on the road, as they look to improve their record while being away from the cold winter of Manitoba. With a 3-6-3 road record, the Jets have gotten 9 out of a possible 24 points while travelling. Being 1 win away from .500 hockey, there's no question the pressure is on to make their current win streak stretch to 4 games. It's a tall task however, as the Caps have only 1 regulation loss at home, and are sitting at 7-1-1 while playing at the Veirzon Center. Eric Fehr is expected to make his first trip to Washington since being traded in the off-season to his home province of Manitoba. The Winkler, MB native played 256 games with the Capitals scoring 46 goals and adding 47 assists in 6 seasons. Fehr has yet to score with the Jets, and shot 3 pucks on net in his first outing versus the Philadelphia Flyers.
Injuries: Aaron Gagnon (undisclosed), Ron Hainsey (upper body), Derek Meech (lower body), Tobias Enstrom (collarbone), Randy Jones (ankle), Brett Festerling (upper body).
The Masked Men: After starting 12 consecutive games in goal, Ondrej Pavelec is expected to have a rest on Wednesday, giving the starting job for the Winnipeg Jets to fellow net minder Chris Mason. Mason has a record of 1-2-0 with a .893 Save percentage. In 2010-2011, the Red Deer product had a 1-0-1 record versus the Caps with his only loss at the Verizon Center in overtime.
Tomas Vokoun is expected to make his 1st start against the Jets, however the former Atlanta Thrashers are quite common company. Vokoun spent 4 seasons with the Southeast Division cats, which meant a lot of time spent playing the team which is now calling Winnipeg home. Tomas' record vs the Thrashers in 2010-11 was 2-2-1 with a .918SV% and 2.89GAA.