Series (Game 4 of 6)

Winnipeg leads 4-2

Game 1: Friday, October 8th
Game 2: Saturday, October 23rd
Game 3: Sunday, November 14th
Game 4: Friday, November 19th
Game 5: Saturday, December 4th
Game 6: Wednesday, January 26th

Capitals 0

(14-5-1, 29 pts)

Jets 5

(8-9-3, 19 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:30 PM ET, November 19, 2010

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 0 00
WPG 3 1 15

O. Pavelec (Jets - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: 1.000

N. Antropov (Jets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Eager (Jets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Capitals-Thrashers Preview


The Washington Capitals started the season with a surprising road loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. They've beaten the Southeast Division rival twice since while moving atop the NHL, and a return to Philips Arena may only keep them rolling.

The Capitals look to continue their impressive run with another victory over the sputtering Thrashers on Friday night.

Washington (14-4-1) leads the league with 29 points after winning its first Presidents' Trophy last season.

The Capitals failed to get 2010-11 off to a strong start, losing their opener 4-2 at Atlanta (7-9-3) as their eight-game winning streak in the series ended.

They've since began working on a new one, beating the Thrashers twice at home, including a 6-4 victory Sunday. Those victories are part of Washington's 10-1-1 stretch, which started with a 4-3 win over Atlanta on Oct. 23.

The run continued with Wednesday's 4-2 win over Buffalo.

"When we try to be fancy and do things we shouldn't, that's when we get in trouble," said right wing Matt Bradley, who had one goal and one assist against the Sabres. "We're just playing a simple game."

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin are tied with a team-high 25 points, and both have made a habit of dominating the Thrashers.

Ovechkin's 29 goals and 62 points in 39 games versus the Thrashers are his highest totals against any opponent. He has 16 goals and 16 assists in 19 visits to Atlanta.

Semin's success against the division foe has come in the last 13 meetings, getting 11 goals and 11 assists. The right wing has four goals in the last two matchups, including a hat trick Oct. 23.

Ovechkin and Semin, though, were limited to one assist each in the season opener.

Ovechkin may find himself on the same line with rookie center Marcus Johansson for a second consecutive game. The 24th overall pick in the 2009 draft, Johansson has one goal in nine games, but coach Bruce Boudreau appears willing to give him time on the top line.

"He worked hard and he skated," Boudreau told the team's official website. "I thought he did an okay job. It takes a little bit of getting to know somebody, and we really haven't had a lot of time to practice."

This is a difficult assignment for the Thrashers, who dropped to 1-5-1 in their last seven games with a 2-1 loss to Florida on Wednesday.

To begin reversing that stretch, Atlanta will likely need to show improvement defensively and facing high-powered Washington may only exacerbate the issue. The Thrashers give up the most goals in the Eastern Conference (3.53) while also surrendering the most shots per game in the NHL (36.1).

It's unclear if Ondrej Pavelec or Chris Mason will start in net. Pavelec has lost the last three games with a 2.32 goals-against average after making 32 saves Wednesday.

Mason has a 4.26 GAA while starting all three season meetings versus the Capitals, getting pulled Sunday after allowing four goals on 16 shots.

Andrew Ladd, the team leader with 18 points, was named the Thrashers new captain Thursday. He has three goals and one assist against the Capitals this season.