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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

JN Recap: Jets Outlast Caps In 3-1 “Defensive” Battle

It’s not a win you’re going to gather a lot of highlight reel plays from or look back with any fondness as an instant classic, but sometimes grind-it-out wins like the one the Jets had tonight against the Washington Capitals can tell you as much about how the Jets can earn two points in the standings with even a sub-par showing.

It’s not something they should make a habit of, but once in a while it’s going to happen and the mark of a good team is to find ways to win anyway.

Oh and keep Alex Ovechkin off the score-sheet, which they totally did. That in itself is kind of a big deal.

First Period

*yawn*

Ideally what you want to do if you’re the home team playing a team that is in it’s second game of back to back nights of playing hockey, with a backup goalie who also played the night before, is jump on them early. Hit them early and often, make them feel the aches and pains of the night before right away and let them know they are in for a long night with plenty of shots fired on goal.

Something like this…

Instead, the Jets managed just two shots in the first period.

*MichaelScottCringing.gif*

The Capitals seemed all too happy to play a nice, laid back period of hockey, not really pressing the issue themselves, but really being the only team with scoring chances early on. The Jets did finally manage a shot over 12 minutes into the game – one maybe out of sheer frustration that was taken from long distance as it was a shot from their own end of the ice – and seconds later the Capitals answered that shot with a goal.

It was bad early on as the Jets looked like the team that had played the night previous and not the Caps. the Jets were maybe a bit fortunate (and owed a little bit of that fortune to Connor Hellebuyck) to be only down one after one.

Second Period

Helped by a couple of penalties early in the second, the Jets looked a little better to start off the middle frame which had typically been Washington’s best this season. A penalty to Alex Ovechkin early on (which was admittedly a sketchy call by the refs, but you won’t hear us complaining) led directly to yet another Jets power play goal seconds after play resumed…

It looked awful in the first, but when the Jets can win a offensive zone face off with the man advantage, they are turning to be downright lethal. It wasn’t as if they cheated too much to one guy, if you look at the Capitals defense set up in that GIF, it’s really not that bad. Wheeler and Connor make sharp, quick passes and Scheifele doesn’t hesitate at all with the one-timer.

Overall the Jets were the better team in the second period, but they still seemed to lack any real drive in their game that you would assume would be there against a team in the situation the Capitals were in. Scoring chances were even at seven each as were high scoring chances at three each.

Third Period

There are ridiculous saves, and then there is what ever the hell this was…

Good to be lucky, lucky to be good I guess. The “save” was very much a strong metaphor for the entire Jets night. It looked bad, it probably should have been worse, but in the end it turned out ok and no one really knows how but good jobs all around from preventing disaster.

Again, another even period as both goalies played well enough but really were not tested as you would think from two teams with as much offensive firepower as Winnipeg and Washington have. Shots were even at 8-8 and the Jets did hold a slight edge in high danger scoring chances 3-2.

Ben Chiarot’s goal at the 12:51 mark of the third wouldn’t qualify as a high danger chance in any shape or form, but it’s for sure one that Caps goalie Phoenix Copley would like back.

Kyle Connor added the empty netter to salt the game away with a minute left.

Just before that goal though, Josh Morrissey got into the corner with the Caps T.J. Oshie and laid out an absolutely devistating take down that left Oshie dazed and looking very much out of sorts.

It’s a hit very reminiscent of Mike Matheson’s hit on Elias Pettersson from a couple of weeks ago in which the Panthers forward was given a two game suspension for, and more than a handful of people thought that Josh could be getting a call from the League’s Player Safety office in the morning. The question may end up being does the league feel Morrissey started pulling him down and used his leg as a leverage point to drive him into the ice. On the Matheson hit, it was all upper body with no use of legs at all, so if I had to guess, based on how Oshie landed and Morrissey already having a bit of a history going back to the playoffs, we could see a game or two being taged to a Morrssey suspension which at the very least could mean it’s Niku time…

THE BOXSCORE

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Winnipeg: Mark Scheifele – Back to back games for PotG for Mark as he continues to be the Jets most consistent forward this season.

For Washington: Phoenix Copely – Bad goal against in the third period aside, Copely turned in a solid performance all things considered. It wasn’t until about an hour before opening puck drop that we all found out Copely would be in goal tonight as the original named starter Braden Holtby was ruled out with an upper body injury. Honorable mention to U of M women’s hockey coach Gavin McHale.

It’s actually the second time McHale has had to don an NHL jersey and wait out a possible call into action. Back in February he dressed in Colorado Avalanche gear during the second period of an Avs / Jets game.

NEXT FLIGHT

The Jets will hopefully come out a bit better on Friday night as they will be taking on a surprisingly tough Buffalo Sabres squad at Bell MTS Place. Game time is set for 7 PM CST.