The Washington Capitals are on a winning streak and earned their seventh in a row last night as they went on to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.
After being sent to the penalty box as his line went short-handed, Carl Hagelin needed only seconds after hitting the ice again to score the winning goal and give Washington their seventh back-to-back goal.
The Washington Capitals, defending Stanley Cup Champions are one of the hottest teams in the NHL at the moment, and with punters lining up in preparation of this year’s Stanley Cup, tonight’s win only cements odds in favour of the Caps with sportsbooks such as Sports Interaction.
Washington was able to kill off each of the five power plays against Winnipeg last night, and it was enough to keep to give them the win. Commenting on the penalties, two of which went to Hagelin, the forward said,
“Obviously I don’t want to be in the box for four minutes like I was, but it turned out OK. It was great to see the guys bail me out.”
Hagelin joined the Capitals at the end of the trade deadline with Nick Jensen, and collectively, it is proving to be paying off with the Hagelin/Jensen line killing off 19 of 21 power plays and the last 16 in a row. Prior to joining the Capitals, penalty killing was the franchises biggest obstacle it seemed, however, now it is their best weapon. Matt Niskanen stated that the team is tweaking things as they go and the results are getting better. Niskanen added,
“It’s taken us some time to figure out what we’re good at and how we want to approach it with our tactics. I think as we’re getting to this time of year, we’re starting to play with a little bit more desperation.”
Winnipeg, who is in first in the Central Division, scored eight goals in their game several nights earlier against Carolina and that saw Washington coming out strong hoping to take control quickly. While the Jets outshot them, it was the goals by Backstrom, Hagelin and Eller that made the difference. Goaltender Pheonix Copley had 33 saves for the night, in what was, his first game in two weeks after being chosen to start instead of Braden Holtby. Commenting on Copley’s performance, Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler said,
“He was kicking the puck out all night. The rebounds were there. We just couldn’t get to them.”
Winnipeg’s only goal was scored by Mattieu Perreault. The Jets had second goal in the third, but officials overturned it after video review in which is showed Bryan Little pushing Copley’s pads and the puck into the net. Paul Maurice, head coach of the Winnipeg Jets felt the team played one heck of a good game. Maurice added,
” “You don’t like losing when you play well. Their guy made some good saves, they got some good breaks around the net, but our compete was good. You know what? We had five opportunities to score on the power play. That doesn’t go. That hurts you.”
The Winnipeg Jets next three games are at home with games against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins on Thursday and Calgary on Saturday. The Washington Capitals play Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Philadelphia on Thursday and Tampa Bay on Saturday.