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Rolling Jets seek to extend Capitals' struggles

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Winnipeg Jets will try to continue their success under new head coach Paul Maurice when they visit the struggling Washington Capitals for Thursday's meeting at Verizon Center.

The Jets boast a 9-2-0 record since Maurice took over behind the bench for the fired Claude Noel in mid-January. The club has won its last three games and Winnipeg can post its second four-game winning streak of the Maurice era with another victory tonight.

The surge has helped move Winnipeg within two points of a playoff spot in the West.

Washington, meanwhile, has damaged its playoff chances in recent weeks, although it does enter Thursday's tilt only three points out of a postseason spot in the East. The Capitals have lost three of their last four games and are just 3-7-3 over their past 13 outings.

The Caps, who until this season were in the same division as the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, have won five straight in this series against their former Southeast Division rivals. That run includes a 5-4 shootout win in Winnipeg on Oct. 22 when Alex Ovechkin recorded two goals and an assist for Washington.

The Jets had a three-game winning streak in D.C. snapped when the Capitals posted a 5-3 home win on April 23 of last season. Ovechkin had one goal and an assist in that victory and the Russian sniper has amassed 81 points (40 goals, 41 assists) in 54 career games against the Thrashers/Jets.

Winnipeg has won all three of its games during its current winning streak by one-goal margins and each of the victories came in regulation. The Jets picked up their second straight win by a 2-1 score Tuesday in Carolina, as Chris Thorburn scored the winner with 1:03 to play to down the Hurricanes.

The winning goal came as Jacob Trouba skated behind the net and came around the left side in an attempt on a wraparound. It missed the goaltender, but came to the right side and Thorburn slammed it in with 63 seconds left.

Andrew Ladd had the other goal and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 28 shots for the win.

"It wasn't our best game because I don't think we played to our strengths," said Maurice. "But the structure was deep and our defense was good so that's what pulled us through."

The Jets have won the first two games of a four-game swing to improve their road record to 14-14-1. Winnipeg will close the trip this Saturday in St. Louis on the final day of NHL action before the league goes on hiatus for the Winter Olympics.

The Capitals were shut out 1-0 in their last outing, as they dropped a home decision to the New York Islanders. Andrew MacDonald scored the only goal of the game early in the third period to account for the decisive goal.

Michal Neuvirth made 27 saves for the Capitals, who went 0-for-6 on the power play in the loss.

"Every point right now is big," said Washington forward Martin Erat. "It doesn't matter if you are playing the Islanders or if you are playing Boston. You have to play the same way all the time, and we have to get the points from every single game."

Washington is 1-1-0 on a four-game homestand that will carry the club into the Olympic break. The residency ends with Saturday's tilt against the New Jersey Devils, who are currently tied with the Caps in the East standings.

The Capitals. who are 15-10-4 as the host this season, will play Thursday without defenseman Mike Green (concussion) and forwards Mikhail Grabovski (sprained ankle) and Aaron Volpatti (upper body).

02/06 11:15:34 ET

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Schedule

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago3Final(OT) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 2-0.
Columbus 4/19 7:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado NBC, CBC, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
STL 4
Final
CLE 0
TOR 5
Final
DET 5
ANA 2
Final
BOS 4
BAL 2
Final
KAN 5
MIN 4
Final
CHC 8
CIN 4
8th
OAK 1
HOU 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
Final
TOR 87
BRK 94
4th
LAC 105
GSW 109
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR