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Latest Claude Noel Items
Martin Erat scored the winner in the sixth round of the shootout on Tuesday night, lifting Washington to a 5-4 win over Winnipeg despite being outshot 47-32 and giving the Jets many breakaway chances.
It's Washington's sixth straight playoff appearance and fifth division championship in that time. It's also something that would have been difficult to envision at several points earlier this season. The Caps started 2-8-1 and were at the bottom of the NHL standings.
Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and Braden Holtby made 30 saves as the Washington Capitals beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-1 on Friday.
Holtby stopped 35 shots and Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist and the Capitals blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 Saturday.
While the Washington Capitals clung to a one-goal lead, Alex Ovechkin was glued to the bench. For Game 4's final 5:50, the highest-paid player on the team and a guy once referred to as one of the best in the world couldn't get onto the ice.
Brooks Laich made no secret of his disdain for the Jets last week in Winnipeg when he said, point-blank, "We don't like them." The Washington Capitals' forward couldn't wait to see the Jets again.
The Winnipeg Jets didn't give up much in last summer's trade with the Washington Capitals for Eric Fehr: a fourth-round draft pick and ECHL-level goon Danick Paquette.
When the Winnipeg Jets moved from Atlanta last summer, it was certain the NHL would consider realignment.
The NHL returned to Winnipeg with a cold reminder of the challenge that lies ahead.