Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets Wednesday night at Verizon Center Center:
How it happened: Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov snapped a 3-3 tie with 3:38 remaining in the second period with his third goal in three games and Braden Holtby and the Caps saved their best work for the third period as the Caps outlasted the tenacious Jets. Justin Williams, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Caps and Evgeny Kuznetsov finished with a goal and two assists. Holtby finished with 23 saves.
What it means: The Caps (15-5-1, 31 points) are now 3-1-0 on their five-game homestand and 5-1-1 in their last seven. Coupled with the Rangers’ loss to the Canadiens in New York, the Caps are now three points out of the Metro Division lead with one game in hand.
Ovi breaks through: Before the game, Capitals coach Bary Trotz said Alex Ovechkin needed to shoot higher from his favorite spot on the power play if he wanted to score on the man-advantage. Wouldn’t you know Ovechkin kicked a pass from John Carlson from his skates to his stick and beat goaltender Michael Hutchinson between his right glove and the left post for his first power-play goal since Nov. 7 and just his second power-play goal of the season. Ovechkin finished the night with eight shots on goal, had five shots blocked, two misses and five hits.
Calm Tom: Tom Wilson didn’t get on the scoresheet and has now gone 20 games without a goal, but his restraint helped the Caps tie the score at 2-2 on Ovechkin’s power-play goal. Wilson spent the entire night battling with 6-foot-5, 260-pound defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and in the second period the Winnipeg behemoth railed him into the net. Wilson slowly got up and skated to the bench, putting the Caps on the man-advantage that led to Ovechkin’s goal.
I Carly: Caps defenseman John Carlson passed Rod Langway and moved into eighth place on the team;s all-time list of points by a defenseman. Carlson has 204 points in 419 games. Langway had 202 points in 726 games with the Caps.
Stingy: The Caps improved to 9-1-0 when scoring first and 9-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Look ahead: The Caps have scheduled a practice for Thursday morning at Kettler, which will be closed to the public. They will face the Tampa Bay Lightning at 5 p.m. on Friday when Barry Trotz coaches his 1,300th NHL game.