Final SO

Series (Game 4 of 6)

Winnipeg leads 4-2

Game 1: Thursday, November 17th
Capitals1Final
Jets4
Game 2: Wednesday, November 23rd
Jets3Final
OT
Capitals4
Game 3: Thursday, December 15th
Capitals1Final
Jets0
Game 4: Thursday, February 9th
Jets3Final
SO
Capitals2
Game 5: Friday, March 16th
Capitals2Final
Jets3
Game 6: Friday, March 23rd
Jets4Final
OT
Capitals3

Jets 3

(26-24-6, 58 pts)

Capitals 2

(28-21-5, 61 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 9, 2012

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 SO T
WPG 0 0 2 13
WSH 0 0 2 02

A. Ovechkin (Capitals - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

A. Semin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

O. Pavelec (Jets - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .941

Jets erase deficit, take down Capitals in shootout

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Someone got sent to the penalty box for playing with a broken stick, and someone else scored a goal from center ice.

Unusual moments like that can produce crazy results, and that's exactly what happened when the Winnipeg Jets -- a team with seemingly no offense to speak of -- mounted a two-goal comeback in the final 135 seconds of regulation, then prevailed in the shootout for a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

"We haven't had a lot of luck lately," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. "So, for us, we'll take that and we'll run with it."

The bizarre turn of events tighten the race in the Southeast Division that appears on pace to produce only one playoff team. The Capitals and Florida Panthers, who beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1, are tied atop the standings with 61 points, and the Jets are only three behind.

So much for the momentum the Capitals had after beating the Panthers 4-0 on Tuesday to vault into first by themselves.

"We should have had the hockey game," Washington center Brooks Laich said. "It's disappointing to lose it that way."

Laich was the player whistled for playing the puck with a broken stick, the call coming shortly after Roman Hamrlik was sent off for slashing while the Capitals held a late 2-0 lead. In the furious moments of a penalty kill, Laich didn't know there was a problem.

"I tried to clear the puck right away and wasn't aware that it had snapped," Laich said, "and he made the call."

The 5-on-3 became a 6-on-3 when the Jets pulled the goaltender, and the resulting pressure on the Capitals net produced the inevitable goal when Evander Kane knocked in a loose puck with 2:15 to play.

Then, 12 seconds later on a 5-on-4 advantage, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was simply trying to dump the puck into the offensive zone from center ice. His hard drive was deflected by defenseman Karl Alzner and hopped past goaltender Tomas Vokoun -- a goal measured at 82 feet.

"They dumped the puck in off my stick and it went in the net," Alzner said. "Pretty simple, and pretty stupid. Pretty unfortunate."

It was Byfuglien's first goal since Dec. 9, and it gave the Jets back-to-back power-play goals after they went seven games without one. The Jets had scored only eight goals in those seven games.

"That's what a team always needs -- good luck and some bounces," Byfuglien said. "I thought we've worked hard lately and haven't really got a nice bounce. Luckily we got one."

Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little scored in the shootout for the Jets, as did Alex Ovechkin for the Capitals, but Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped shots by Alexander Semin and Mathieu Perreault.

All of the game's goals came in the final 10 1/2 minutes of the third period, and all were on power plays. The Capitals seemed in control after Ovechkin and Semin scored less than three minutes apart, each assisting on the other's tally.

It was Ovechkin's 23rd goal of the season and third in two games. Dennis Wideman assisted on both goals.

But the Jets got the breaks when it mattered most, leaving the Capitals to wonder what had happened.

"I think you chalk that one up to a couple of bad bounces," Washington center Matt Hendricks said. "Or at least one bad bounce."

Game notes


Pavelec finished with 32 saves. Vokoun stopped 25 shots. ... The game ended a streak of seven straight Jets games in which both teams combined to score exactly three goals. Winnipeg was 3-4 during that stretch. ... Jets C Kyle Wellwood missed his second straight game with flulike symptoms.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES