Capitals dominate Jets in game they needed to win

Washington cuts Winnipeg’s lead in Southeast Division to seven points

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Braden Holtby made 19 saves and Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists as the Washington Capitals defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 Thursday night.

Nicklas Backstrom scored and had an assist for Washington (13-16-1), while Troy Brouwer and Marcus Johansson added goals as well.

It was Holtby’s fourth shutout of the season and second against the Jets. He also blanked Winnipeg 3-0 on March 2, the only previous time Winnipeg was shut out this season.

Ondrej Pavelec faced 25 shots as the Jets (16-13-2) had their home winning streak snapped at three.

Winnipeg remained in first place in the Southeast Division and the third seed in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, who lost 4-1 to New Jersey on Thursday night.

The Jets and Capitals face off again Friday night in Winnipeg.

The Jets were on their second power play early in the third, but Brooks Laich got control of the puck and was stopped on a breakaway by Pavelec.

Kane and Antti Miettinen challenged Holtby on a two-on-one midway through the period, but the netminder snapped out his right leg and stopped Miettinen’s shot.

Pavelec took a delay of game penalty late in the third period and it proved costly.

With Olli Jokinen serving the penalty, Ovechkin scored his 13th goal of the season. Backstrom sent a pass to Ovechkin and he fired it high on Pavelec’s glove side at 14:06.

It was then Ovechkin’s turn to send a pass to Backstrom in the high slot and he put the puck between Pavelec and the post at 18:22 of the third.

Brouwer opened the scoring with a wrist shot from near the bottom of the faceoff circle that beat Pavelec at 3:06 of the first period, extending his points streak to three games (two goals, two assists).

Laich assisted on the goal for his first point of the season after making his season debut Tuesday following a lengthy groin injury.

Jets forward Evander Kane had a good opportunity late in the period when he found himself alone in front of the net, but he couldn’t get his stick on the puck to make a shot.

A couple minutes later, Ovechkin sent the puck past Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien to Johansson, who redirected the puck into the net at 16:22 for the 2-0 lead.

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