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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 2nd (All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (7-11-1) at Winnipeg Jets (10-9-1), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Jets will aim for their longest winning streak since relocating to Winnipeg, as they host the Washington Capitals in Saturday's battle at MTS Centre.
The Jets are in the midst of a three-game winning streak and only have produced four consecutive wins once since the franchise moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2011-12 campaign.
The club's four-game win streak was from Dec. 1-9 of last season and all four victories came on home ice.
Winnipeg won the first two tests of its current three-game winning streak on the road and then posted Thursday's 3-1 decision over visiting New Jersey. Andrew Ladd netted a pair of goals, including the go-ahead marker with 8:01 left to play, as the Jets won for the fifth time in six games.
Ladd also assisted on Blake Wheeler's empty-net clincher with 35.8 seconds left, and tied a franchise record by scoring eight seconds after the opening faceoff to help Winnipeg stay hot following a 4-1-0 road trip.
"I was happy that we got the win and it was certainly a hard game to get the win," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel. "We had some guys working really hard out there tonight and I thought we managed things really well."
Ondrej Pavelec did his part as well, with the Jets goaltender turning back 22- of-23 shots in a sharp performance between the pipes.
Winnipeg is now 4-5-0 as the host compared to a 6-4-1 record on the road. Last season, the Jets were 23-13-5 at MTS Centre and 14-22-5 everywhere else. Following Saturday's test, the Jets will head back out on a four-game road trip.
The Capitals, meanwhile, will try to rebound from Wednesday's lackluster performance in Philadelphia. Washington had won two straight and five of seven entering the contest in Philly, but was dealt a 4-1 loss.
Washington fired 24 shots on net against the Flyers, but only 12 of them came in the first 40 minutes as Philadelphia staked itself to a 4-0 advantage through two periods. The Caps' lone score came from Joel Ward with just 2:09 remaining in the game.
"It's disappointing to play that way," said Ward. "We gave up that quick goal and you can't do that in this building because it just feeds the crowd and they get all over you."
Washington goaltender Braden Holtby, who allowed Claude Giroux to score just 23 seconds into the game, was pulled late in the second period after giving up four goals on 18 shots. That led to Philipp Grubauer making his NHL debut and the rookie acquitted himself nicely, stopping all 14 shots he faced in relief.
The loss dropped the Caps to 2-6-1 as the road team this season.
Washington will be without defenseman Mike Green after he aggravated a groin injury against Philadelphia. Green is second among Washington defenseman with seven points this season on two goals and five assists. He also leads the club in ice time with nearly 26 minutes logged per game.
Winnipeg stretched its winning streak versus the Capitals to four straight by taking the first of five meetings this season on Jan. 22 in Washington. The Caps are 1-2-0 in three games at the MTS Centre.
03/02 10:35:11 ET