When: Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Time: 6:00 p.m. CST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Records: Winnipeg Jets (0-1-1), Washington Capitals (0-1-0)
Television/Radio: TSN, CSN-DC/ TSN 1290
The Story: The Winnipeg Jets face the Washington Capitals tonight in the American Capital and in the second game of back-to-back road games. The Jets picked up one point on Monday afternoon against the Boston Bruins but failed to capitalize on two power plays in the overtime period as the Bruins stole the extra point in the shootout.
Heading into tonight’s game, the man advantage continues to be an obvious concern for Winnipeg. The Jets went zero-for-four on the Power Play on Monday and are 1-10 on the Power Play in two games this season. Despite having skilled offensive players such as Evander Kane, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets have looked shaky and unprepared early on in the abbreviated 2013 regular season.
Winnipeg faces a Washington team that dropped its first game of the regular season on Saturday night, a 6-3 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Capitals have made some significant changes since the last time they played the Jets, acquiring Mike Ribeiro from the Dallas Stars (for Cody Eakin and a 2nd round pick) back in late-June and hiring Adam Oates as their new Head Coach. Washington also said goodbye to mainstays Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble and Jeff Halpern in the offseason while adding depth in forwards Wojtek Wolski, Ryan Stoa and Joey Crabb.
Washington’s hopes this season will largely rest on the shoulders of talented forwards Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Ovechkin had his worst statistical year ever in 2011’12, scoring 65 points in 78 games, while Backstrom was limited to 42 games due to an injury.
Coach Noel has pulled Kyle Wellwood from his lineup today and instead inserted new waiver pick-up James Wright into the starting lineup.
Today’s game will be the first of four meetings between the Jets and Capitals this year. The two teams will next meet on Saturday, March 2nd in Winnipeg (2:00 p.m. CST). The third and fourth meetings of the season between the Capitals and Jets will be back-to-back homes games in Winnipeg on Thursday, March 21st (7:00 p.m. CST) and Friday, March 22nd (6:00 p.m. CST).
Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for the Jets.
Follow @IllegalCurve on Twitter leading up to tonight’s game.
Projected Jets line combinations:
1st: Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little- Blake Wheeler
2nd: Evander Kane- Olli Jokinen- Mark Scheifele
3rd: Alexei Ponikarovsky – Nik Antropov- Alexander Burmistrov
4th: Chris Thorburn – Jim Slater – James Wright
Dustin Byfuglien- Tobias Enstrom
Ron Hainsey- Mark Stuart
Paul Postma–Grant Clitsome
Washington Capitals: Mike Ribeiro (0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points), Joel Ward (2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points), Wojtek Wolski (1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point) – 4 others tied with 1 point
Winnipeg Jets: Dustin Byfuglien (1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point), Chris Thorburn (1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point), Andrew Ladd (0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point)- 3 others tied with 1 point
Washington Capitals: Jack Hillen (upper body), Dmitry Orlov (upper body), Brooks Laich (groin)
Winnipeg Jets: Zach Bogosian (wrist), Antti Miettinen (upper body), Kyle Wellwood
Who’s Next: The Jets return home to play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night at the MTS Centre (7:00 p.m. CST). The Jets play the New York Islanders on Sunday at home (7:00 p.m. CST).
QUICKIES…..Dustin Byfuglien led the Jets in ice time on Monday afternoon (30:27). Tobias Enstrom was second in ice time on Monday (29:54)….