Neuvirth, Caps blank Jets 1-0
Following their worst game of the season on Monday night against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals rebounded with one of their best games of the season on Thursday night.
Such is life in D.C. for the Capitals, who have struggled after getting out to a 7-0-0 mark to begin the season. Since then, they've changed coaches while experiencing much of the same results, losses.
But Tuesday brought a new low as the Caps were manhandled at home by the Flyers 5-1. The Caps had been 7-0-3 against the Flyers in the past 10 meetings, but fell behind early and looked badly outmatched all game.
But that all changed with a road trip to Winnipeg on Thursday, where the Caps played well in all three zones, Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner and the Caps shutout the Jets 1-0.
Michal Neuvirth, who has struggled this season, was spectacular in the Washington net, stopping all 26 shots he faced en route to his fourth win of the season.
In a goaltenders duel, Neuvirth outdueled Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 27 of the 28 shots he faced in defeat.
With the game scoreless and appearing to be headed to overtime, Alex Ovechkin shot a laser through the legs of Pavelec with just 1:14 left in the third. The tally came off a Jets neutral zone turnover to Nicklas Backstrom, who flipped the puck to Marcus Johansson across the blueline. Johansson then executed a perfect drop pass to the tape of Ovechkin, who made no mistake with his 10th goal of the season.
Washington was solid across all three zones, limiting odd-man chances for the Jets all game as well as getting great goaltending when they needed it. The offense also came up with a timely, albeit late, goal to steal an extra point on the road.
Ovechkin has 10 goals in 17 career games against Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
The Caps will look to keep the momentum going off a solid road win when they visit the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Saturday.