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Capitals 3, Jets 0

The SportsXchange

WINNIPEG -- Braden Holtby stopped 35 shots for his third shutout of the season as the Washington Capitals beat the Winnipeg Jets, 3-0, on Saturday.

The 23-year-old goalie was particularly sharp in the first period, facing a 15-shot barrage as the Jets came out firing. And he made several outstanding saves in the third period as Winnipeg, trailing by three goals, pressed to get back in the game.

The Capitals improved to 8-11-1, while the Jets fell to 10-10-1.

Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist for Washington, while Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouwer also scored.

Jets' goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves.

Winnipeg heads out on a four-game trip, which begins Tuesday in Sunrise, Fla., against the Florida Panthers.

Washington hosts the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the first of a two-game home stand.

Pavelec, starting his ninth straight game in net for Winnipeg, faced only five shots in a scoreless first period, but was a busy man in the second. He made a tremendous save on Alex Ovechkin's shot from the low slot about seven minutes into the period and then robbed Ribeiro on the rebound seconds later.

The Caps continued to press, out-shooting the Jets, 10-2, through nine minutes, but the Czech-born goalie kept his sluggish teammates in the game.

His glove save on a shot by Jason Chimera midway through the period was highlight-reel material.

Two shifts later, with Jets' winger Blake Wheeler squirming on the ice in obvious pain after sliding to block John Erskine's blast from the point, Washington finally scored when Hendricks wristed a shot high over Pavelec's shoulder for his fourth goal of the season at 10:56.

The Jets nearly tied it late in the period when defenseman Grant Clitsome's shot beat Holtby, but clanked off the post.

Early in the third period, the Capitals seized total control with two goals in only 52 seconds.

Brouwer fired in his eighth goal of the season at 3:24 off a faceoff won cleanly by Nicklas Backstrom, and Ribeiro scored on a rebound after Pavelec stopped Ovechkin on partial breakaway at 4:16.

NOTES: Jets' captain Andrew Ladd scored 10 goals in February, tying Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos for most in the month. ... Left-winger Aaron Volpatti played his first game with Washington after being claimed on waivers Thursday from Vancouver. He fared poorly in a first-period scrap with Jets' tough guy Anthony Peluso. ... Eric Fehr, raised about 90 minutes from Winnipeg, scored only two goals in 35 games during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season for the Jets. Now with the Capitals, the eighth-year pro had four goals and three assists in 16 games before Saturday. ... Mike Ribeiro was second in the NHL in power-play points with 13 (five goals, eight assists) coming into the game, behind injured Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin. ... Jets' blue-liner Zach Redmond was released from a Raleigh, N.C., hospital Thursday and is home in Michigan recovering from season-ending leg surgery. The 24-year-old rookie suffered a laceration to his femoral artery and vein when he was accidentally stepped on by a teammate at a morning skate on Feb. 21. ... Adam Oates, in his first year behind the Washington bench, played 19 seasons in the NHL split between seven teams. One of the game's greatest playmakers, he ranks 17th on the NHL's point-scoring list (1,420) and sixth in assists (1,079). ... Winnipeg center Olli Jokinen entered the game three goals shy of 300 in his NHL career.
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