Jets-Capitals Preview

The Associated Press

The Washington Capitals are back home and hoping that Alex Ovechkin's top line will make amends for a poor first game.

The Capitals have won 10 straight home openers heading into Tuesday night's matchup with the Winnipeg Jets.

Washington has not dropped its Verizon Center opener since a 4-1 defeat to Los Angeles in 2000-01.

The Capitals are looking to regroup after Saturday's 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay.

The top line of Ovechkin, Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom failed to produce a point, with Ovechkin taking all four of his shots in the first period. Coach Adam Oates is sticking with that group Tuesday.

"I think as a player, you always want to do more," Oates said. "They're our first line the other night and we count on them to score, whether it's power play or 5-on-5."

Washington got a power-play goal by Joel Ward in the first period, but that unit came up empty on its other three chances. Ovechkin was on the ice for most of that time, and defenseman Mike Green says the man-advantage will improve as the players learn Oates' system.

"It opens up the ice so much and we get a lot of movement going and if we can hit those seams with passes, we're going to create a lot of chances," Green said. "It kind of reminds me how back in the day how our power play used to work, and that's a good thing."

The Caps will have to be more disciplined after allowing the Lightning to convert 3 of 7 power plays.

"Our penalty kill really has to be much better," winger Troy Brouwer said. "We really have to focus on that, giving up three in the first game, that's not the start we wanted."

Washington could solve its woes on the penalty kill when it faces a Winnipeg team that is 1 for 10 with the man advantage.

The Jets (0-1-1) went 0 for 4 in Monday's 2-1 shootout loss at Boston.

"It's disappointing when you get those opportunities in the end there,'' forward Evander Kane said. "Myself, I can't be making those bad passes and not generating anything. That's something that we're going to have to get better at."

Chris Thorburn and Dustin Byfuglien have Winnipeg's lone goals this season. The Jets have yet to score past the first period.

Washington lost its final three 2011-12 meetings with Winnipeg. Ovechkin had team highs of four goals and six points in six matchups in the season series.

Kane led the Jets with three goals against Washington last season, and Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd each had a team-high five points.

Ondrej Pavelec has started the first two games for the Jets, and he's 7-1-1 with a 1.53 GAA in his last nine starts against the Caps. Backup Al Montoya has faced Washington once.

Washington goaltender Braden Holtby's worst career start came in his lone one against the Jets' franchise when he yielded three goals on five shots and was pulled in a 5-0 loss Nov. 19, 2010.

What to Read Next