The Washington Times - November 23, 2011, 03:01PM

The Capitals had a hard time cracking Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec last week in Winnipeg. But that’s not a new trend.

“Ever since he fainted on us, he’s been outstanding against us,” Bruce Boudreau said.


It was a scary moment – Oct. 8, 2010, when Pavelec collapsed on the ice 2:25 into a game between his Atlanta Thrashers and the Caps.

“That scared the life out of me. I thought he was actually dead on the ice. I don’t want that to happen to anybody,” Boudreau said. “Ever since that moment, I think the next four starts or four out of the next five starts he’s been outstanding.”

Boudreau’s right. Pavelec has started five games against Washington since, going 4-1 with a 0.65 goals-against average and .981 save percentage.

TV play-by-play man Joe Beninati asked Boudreau about Pavelec’s “ridiculous” numbers against the Caps.

“We haven’t done something right. But his numbers are ridiculous against us,” Boudreau said in agreement. “Hopefully we can do something about it.”

How to fix that? Jason Chimera didn’t want to anoint Pavelec as anything too special.

“Score goals. It’s easy as that,” Chimera said. “It’s a simple games – put it in the net. When we got a chance, bury it. It’s not like he’s invincible.”

No, he has just looked like it. Last week he stopped 31 of 32 shots to stonewall the Caps in a 4-1 Winnipeg victory at MTS Centre.

Roman Hamrlik credited Pavelec for the Jets’ recent success but noted that the Caps need to do fundamental things to have success against him.

Get some traffic in front – nobody likes the traffic,” the veteran defenseman said. “Get some early shots, get some rebounds and try to hit the net.”