The Washington Capitals’ season-worst losing streak easily could have continued, but a come-from-behind win has the team feeling good about itself.
The Winnipeg Jets also like the direction they’re heading as they make their first of three visits to the nation’s capital this season.
The Capitals go for back-to-back victories for the first time in nearly three weeks Wednesday night when the Jets try to extend their season-best three-game winning streak.
Facing a 2-0 second-period deficit Monday, Washington (11-7-1) rallied for a 4-3 victory over Phoenix to end its four-game skid. The Capitals had dropped six of seven.
“The come-from-behind is nice,” center Brooks Laich(notes), who snapped the team’s 0-for-28 power-play skid, told the Capitals’ official website. “.. When it’s 2-0 for them, you can go one of two ways. You can fold the tent and things really get sour, then there’s no life in the building and everyone’s looking around or you can push back. I think our team got mad and we pushed back.
“You start moving your feet and you start with little things and from that you get goals and you get success.”
The four-time defending Southeast Division champs hope to have found their footing, but they’ve scored just twice while losing four straight in this divisional matchup.
Facing the Capitals for the first time since relocating from Atlanta this offseason, the Jets (8-9-3) posted a 4-1 home victory Thursday for their first back-to-back regulation wins in 2011-12.
Winnipeg will look to extend that to four in a row following Saturday’s 6-4 victory over Philadelphia. The Jets outscored their opponents 15-7 and went 6 for 15 on the power play during their three-game homestand.
“I think (confidence) is huge for us. It just kept building, starting with that first game (a 5-2 win over Tampa Bay on Nov. 14). These were not easy teams. These are teams that could give us some real trouble. But we’re playing simple … we’re outworking teams.”
They’ve also been getting solid work between the pipes from Ondrej Pavelec(notes), who posted a 2.33 goals-against average during the homestand after losing five consecutive starts. Given his recent success against Washington, including Thursday’s 31-save performance, there’s a good chance he’ll make a 13th consecutive start.
Pavelec is 4-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA in four starts against the Capitals since collapsing and suffering a concussion just 2 1/2 minutes into a home game versus Washington on Oct. 8, 2010.
He made 45 saves as the franchise snapped a nine-game losing streak in the nation’s capital in its last visit, a 3-1 victory on Dec. 4.
The two-time MVP, though, has 14 goals and 17 assists in 21 home games against the Jets franchise.
Alexander Semin(notes) has four goals and four assists in the Jets’ last four visits, but it’s uncertain if he’ll be in the Capitals’ lineup after being a healthy scratch Monday for the first time since his 2003-04 rookie season. Semin, who scored in Winnipeg on Thursday, has a team-high 28 penalty minutes.
“He’s taken penalties seven games in a row,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “At some point, you have to be accountable for your errors.”
The last time the Jets franchise won four straight was a 6-0-0 run from Nov. 19-30, 2010.