EditorsNote: fixes to “Connor” at start of last sentence
Ben Chiarot scored the tiebreaking goal for the Jets with 7:09 left in the third period, and Kyle Connor added an empty-net score as Winnipeg defeated the visiting Washington Capitals 3-1 Wednesday night.
Winnipeg had not held the lead until Chiarot scored on a long, knuckling slap shot that dipped under goalie Pheonix Copley’s glove. Brandon Tanev got the only assist on the play.
Connor produced the insurance goal after Copley had been pulled. That came with one minute remaining, and it stretched the Jets’ winning streak to three games.
Washington was trying to win its second game in two nights on a four-game road trip. The Capitals beat Minnesota 5-2 Tuesday with rookie Copley in net, and they had to call on him once more in this game.
Copley stepped in when the Capitals said before the game that starter Braden Holtby couldn’t go due to an upper-body injury. That late scratch forced Washington to sign 31-year-old Gavin McHale — the goalie coach for the women’s team at the University of Manitoba — as its emergency backup.
Copley allowed just two goals in the Minnesota win and turned in another strong performance in this game. He finished with 21 saves Wednesday.
Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck finished with 27 saves, seven of which came on power plays as Washington couldn’t cash in.
The Capitals lost top-line center Evgeny Kuznetsov after he appeared to get hurt in the first period.
He played only five shifts, and the Capitals said later that Kuznetsov would not return due to an upper-body injury. He is due to be re-evaluated on Thursday.
Washington took the lead when Jakub Vrana scored 13 minutes into the game. He fired a high shot from the right side that got past Hellebuyck’s right-arm blocker.
The Capitals outshot Winnipeg 10-2 in the first period, but the Jets bounced back in the middle stanza.
Winnipeg tied it in the second when Mark Scheifele scored a power-play goal from between the circles. Connor made a quick pass to Scheifele from the side of the goal, and Scheifele one-timed it past Copley at the 5:05 mark.
—Field Level Media