Win­nipeg will try to pull out of tail­spin against the tough Caps, says Ken Wiebe.

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - Kwiebe@post­media.com

Chances are pretty good head coaches Paul Mau­rice and Barry Trotz will at least start with a be­ston-best sit­u­a­tion when it comes to match­ing lines.

That means Mark Scheifele, who has two games un­der his belt af­ter re­turn­ing from in­jury, will match up against Nick­las Back­strom, an in­te­gral piece of the puz­zle for his team be­cause of his twoway play.

Here are five things to watch for when the Jets (32-15-9), who sit sec­ond in the Cen­tral Divi­sion, host the Metropoli­tan Divi­sion-lead­ing Cap­i­tals (32-17-6) Tues­day night: 1

Stop the bleed­ing

The Jets had a bet­ter ef­fort in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers than they did in a 5-2 de­feat to the St. Louis Blues, but they lost con­sec­u­tive games on home ice for the first time this sea­son. And with things tight­en­ing in the Cen­tral Divi­sion, they’ll be look­ing to avoid just their sec­ond three­game los­ing skid of the sea­son. 2

Min­i­mize the dam­age

Cap­i­tals cap­tain Alex Ovechkin has made a habit of light­ing up the Jets, notch­ing 45 goals and 88 points in 61 ca­reer games against them. The Great 8 leads the NHL in goals and has al­ready equalled last sea­son’s to­tal (33). He’s av­er­ag­ing more than a point per game (60 in 55 games), so try­ing to keep him in check is a top pri­or­ity.

3

Wheeler is due

Jets cap­tain Blake Wheeler chipped in an­other as­sist in Sun­day’s game and he gen­er­ated plenty of scor­ing chances. Al­though his goal­less drought reached a sea­son-high 14 games, Wheeler fin­ished with six shots on goal and had 12 shot-at­tempts, so it seems only a mat­ter of time be­fore he scores again.

4

Find the power

The Jets’ power play has run into a rough patch of late, go­ing just three­for-21 dur­ing the six games on this home­s­tand. While the ef­fi­ciency (83.6 per cent) re­mains fourth in the NHL, gen­er­at­ing a bit more with the man­ad­van­tage can make a huge dif­fer­ence when the games are so tight dur­ing the stretch run.

5

Keep an eye on Carl­son

Cap­i­tals de­fence­man John Carl­son is hav­ing a fan­tas­tic sea­son and is in the dis­cus­sion for the Nor­ris Tro­phy. With nine goals and 44 points in 55 games, he’s among the top scor­ing blue-lin­ers and plays against the op­po­si­tion’s top lines most games. He’s also an im­por­tant piece to the Cap­i­tals’ power play, col­lect­ing 21 points with the man-ad­van­tage.

John Carl­son

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