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