March 11, 2019 / 2:07 AM / 6 months ago

Capitals win seventh straight by beating Jets

EditorsNote: corrects shot attempts in fourth graph, typo in 8th graph

Mar 10, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Winnipeg Jets in the first period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Hagelin scored the tie-breaking goal in the second period and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to seven games with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Jets in a Sunday night battle of division leaders.

Washington now holds a four-point lead over the New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division. The Jets have a one-point lead over Nashville in the Central Division. For the Capitals, this is their second seven-game winning streak this season.

Nicklas Backstrom and Lars Eller scored the other two Washington goals.

Pheonix Copley started in goal for the Capitals, and the Jets kept him busy. Winnipeg outshot Washington 34-17, but Copley stood tall and finished with 33 saves.

Goalie Connor Hellebuyck played in his 200th NHL game and finished with 15 saves but took the loss.

The Capitals often had problems generating offensive chances against the speedy Jets but still scored first. Backstrom fired a shot through traffic that beat Hellebuyck — who was screened by at least one player — for a 1-0 lead. John Carlson got his 50th assist this season on the play, which came 4:35 into the game.

But former Capital Mathieu Perreault tied it less than two minutes later by scoring off a quick pass from Jack Roslovic. Perreault swung around the net and lost Eller and got open to Copley’s left, then Roslovic put the pass right on his stick.

Washington took the lead back right after Hagelin got out of the penalty box after serving a minor for cross-checking in the second period. Nic Dowd saw Hagelin coming out and flipped a long, high pass that sprung him on a breakaway, and he scored with 5:28 left in the period for a 2-1 lead.

Winnipeg nearly tied it with 10:17 left in the third period as a couple of Jets tried to push the puck in, but the officials ruled goalie interference. The Jets challenged but the original call stood.

Eller then added an empty-net goal in the final minute after Washington killed off a late penalty.

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