- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Capitals beat Jets to win Southeast Division, clinch No. 3 seed
Question of the Day
Winnipeg had its chances, most notably an odd-man rush a minute later when Caps defenseman John Erskine threw his body in front of Bryan Little’s shot that would have gone into an empty net. Moments like those are how playoff berths are won.
“It’s a play that anybody would’ve done,” Erskine said. “I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time and kept the puck out.”
But Erskine had another one in him later in the first period, when a redirection by Winnipeg’s Aaron Gagnon rolled off Holtby’s back and onto the goal line. It required video review, but Erskine managed to swat the puck away before it completely crossed.
When Jason Chimera scored late in the first, his goal increased the Caps’ advantage over the Jets in the previous 10 periods to 15-1.
It took until after the first intermission for the Jets to push back, something they were never able to do in losses to the Caps at home last month. Evander Kane’s goal just 16 seconds into the period made for even tighter hockey in a game that already resembled the intensity of Game 1 of a playoff series.
“It was a hard-fought game,” Oates said. “The building was electric. … It kind of had a playoff atmosphere to it.”
The Jets had the disadvantage of playing this one 24 hours after their previous must-win game at the Buffalo Sabres. Noel said “there isn’t any” concern about back-to-back games, but Oates figured Winnipeg’s fatigue would show itself.
“A team is maybe a little sloppy because they’re a little tired,” he said.
Sloppy play was evident as the Jets frequently turned the puck over in their own zone and relied on Pavelec to keep them in it. Even when Blake Wheeler tied the score in the second, the Caps had an quick answer, as Nicklas Backstrom scored off an Alex Ovechkin feed 37 seconds later to reignite a crowd that had gone quiet.
Seconds after those fans serenaded Ovechkin with chants of “MVP,” third-liner Mathieu Perreault provided the insurance goal that was needed to ensure there will be playoff games in Washington next week.
“It’s not a big deal,” Holtby said. “To me, those things don’t matter. It’s the Stanley Cup that’s the only thing that matters. This is a step in the right direction. But we have a lot more work to do. And it starts now.”
Having another accomplishment to start on in April and early My would have been nothing but a dream not too long ago, but the Caps will gladly take it now that it has come true.
“We keep fighting, we keep battling, we stick to the system, we stick together,” Ovechkin said. “It was most important thing. Of course sometimes kind of situation when everybody was struggling and everybody was [ticked] off but we fight through it and right now you can see result.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll - Washington Times#.U9ZSgi7-CXU.twi
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- RAHN: When money mischief goes global
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq