Game 17: Caps pay first visit to the new 'Peg

Last time the Caps played in the 'Peg, Teemu Selanne was still a Jet.

 

For the first time since December 1995, the Washington Capitals will visit Winnipeg, Manitoba tonight to face the new look Jets at MTS Centre at 7:30 pm. 

The Caps continue their short three-game road trip following a heartbreaking loss in Nashville to the Predators 3-1, in a game in which the Predators scored in the final minute to steal a win in regulation. 

Despite the loss, the Caps peppered Pekka Rinne with 40 shots on Tuesday, and controlled much of the game before faltering just before the end of regulation. But for a team lauded for its offensive firepower, the Caps have been pedestrian in the goal scoring department lately, failing to top more than three goals in the past five games (1-3-1). 

Among those misfiring on offense include Alexander Ovechkin, who has been pointless in three of the last four, adding only a garbage goal in New Jersey on Saturday. The other Alex, Alexander Semin, is also slumping for Bruce Boudreau's club, he has just one goal and three points in his last 11 games. 

Certainly not the kind of production the Caps are looking for from their talented Russian duo. But the struggles go deeper than just the team's superstars, the powerplay has been abysmal lately, going scoreless in 12-straight chances. 

Led by forwards Joel Ward, Matt Hendricks and Co., the penalty kill has shined lately, killing 22 of their last 23 chances with the man down. 

Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal for the Caps. He won a Calder Cup back in 2009 at the MTS Centre, so Boudreau is giving him the chance to start. 

Ondrej Pavelec will get his 11th-straight start in goal for the home-standing Jets, who are just 1-3-1 in their last five games. In their first season back in the 'Peg, the Jets sit nearly the bottom of the NHL standings, ahead of only the hapless Blue Jackets. 

It will be a special trip to Winnipeg for some Capitals, who won a Calder Cup on the same MTS Centre ice with the Hershey Bears just two years ago. Those players include goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who took home MVP honors, John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Jay Beagle. 

The Bears defeated the Manitoba Moose in six games to win the Cup that season, the teams 10th title. 

It also marks the homecoming of Caps rookie center Cody Eakin, who is from Winnipeg.