Can the Caps get back in the win column? (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals are in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Saturday to play an afternoon matinee against the Jets. The Capitals, coming off a 4-1 humbling by the Flyers on Wednesday night, are 7-11-1 on the campaign for a total of 15 standings points. That places them last in both the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference and 29th overall in the entire NHL. The Jets, who have won three in a row including beating the Devils on Thursday, are 10-9-1 on the campaign for 21 standings points. That puts them second in the Southeast Division and eighth in the Conference, hanging on to the final playoff spot in the East. This is Washington’s first trip to the MTS Centre this season.
Workhorse goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is expected to start in goal for Claude Noel, his tenth in a row and 19th this season. Pavelec has posted a 2.86 GAA and .901 save percentage on the campaign and despite mediocre career numbers against Washington, always seems to up his game against DC. The Jets have two injuries to report: winger Antti Miettinen has a lower-body ailment and is doubtful, while slick defenseman Tobias Enstrom is out with a shoulder injury long-term.
Braden Holtby has been confirmed as Washington’s starter for head coach Adam Oates, his ninth consecutive game in goal. Despite giving up four goals in one-plus periods earlier this week, has a .899 save percentage and 3.26 GAA on the campaign and has really come on over the last three weeks. Washington will be missing four players for this afternoon’s game: center Brooks Laich (groin), center Marcus Johansson (upper body), defenseman Mike Green (groin) and defenseman Jack Hillen (shoulder). Winger Aaron Volpatti, claimed off waivers on Thursday, will make his team debut, likely at the expense of Joey Crabb. Roman Hamrlik will remain a healthy scratch.
Puck drops 3:10-ish.