The Caps jumped out to a 3-0 lead, saw it evaporate in the third period, but still pulled out the win thanks to a power play goal by Alex Ovechkin in overtime.
How it happened: For two periods, it looked as if the Caps were going to run away with this one. Nicklas Backstrom scored his first goal of the season and T.J. Oshie and Ovechkin added two more in the second to give the Caps a 3-0 lead. But the Jets were not done. A bizarre short-handed goal by Toby Enstrom just 2:11 into the third period gave Winnipeg life and they were able to erase the deficit and force overtime. It is already the third time this season the Jets have erased a three-goal deficit in the third period. Ovechkin, however, came to the rescue with his second goal of the game, a power play goal in overtime to earn the victory for the Caps.
What it means: The win is the fourth straight for the Caps who have completely erased the memory of their two-game skid just one week ago. The two points helps the Caps keep pace with the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins as all three teams continue to separate themselves from the rest of the Metropolitan Division.
A troubling trend: Thursday's game marks the fourth time this season the Caps have given up a lead of at least two goals. The season is just 10 games old. As the saying goes, a two-goal lead is the worst in hockey, but a team should be able to hold a three-goal lead heading into the third period. The Caps could not and it almost cost them a point.
Better late than never: Prior to tonight’s game, Backstrom was one of only two Caps forwards without a goal this season. He still entered the game as fifth on the team in points with 5 assists, but the goal will still likely lift a weight off the Swede's shoulders especially after being held without a shot by the Jets on Tuesday. Zach Sanford is now the only Caps forward without a goal this season.
Strong in the second: The Caps have struggled in the second period this season, but they were dominant on Thursday as they took what looked like a stranglehold on the game with a strong middle frame. Washington outshot the Jets 18-5 in the second for a whopping 13-shot margin. The Caps also added two goals to take a commanding 3-0 lead into the third period. In the back-to-back games against the Jets, the Caps outscored Winnipeg 3-0 and outshot them 27-20.
The best offense is a good defense: With John Carlson's assist on Alex Ovechkin's goal in the third period, the Caps have now gotten points from their defensemen in nine of 10 games this season. Depth scoring was a major focus for the Caps heading into the season and part of their plan was more involvement from the defense. That plan seems to be paying off. Despite the increased offense, the defensive core has not been overly aggressive leading to too many opportunities the other way. The assist also puts Carlson in elite company as it was career assist No. 177, moving him ahead of Rod Langway for eighth place in Capitals history for assists by a defenseman.
Limiting Laine: Patrik Laine is one of the bright young talents of the NHL, but the Caps were able to shut down the star rookie for two games. Laine had zero points and zero shots on goal Thursday in the loss. Laine did manage five shots on goal Tuesday, but he was also held off the scoresheet in that game as well.
Look ahead: Thursday’s game was just game one of a three-game homestand. The Caps will host the Florida Panthers on Saturday and the defending Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks on election day. Then its back to the road for the Caps as they begin a three-game road swing that will take them to Chicago, Carolina and Columbus.