Jets blast Caps late to take 3rd straight
Scheifele pots equalizer, Chiarot scores winner
Ben Chiarot wanted to play well against the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals.
The defenceman did just that by scoring the game-winner as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Capitals 3-1 on Wednesday.
"We've been talking about getting on a bit of a roll here," Chiarot said after Winnipeg's third straight victory. "We're excited, the Stanley Cup champs coming to town you want to bring your best effort."
Chiarot scored his third goal of the season with 7:09 left in the third period when the puck went by goalie Pheonix Copley.
Watch as the Jets take flight against the Caps
"Their [defence] was a little gapped off and I just tried to put one on net," Chiarot said. "It went off [John] Carlson's shaft and it dipped on the goalie a little bit. There wasn't much to it, it was just a lucky shot."
Kyle Connor put in an empty-netter with a minute left to seal the victory. Mark Scheifele scored on the power play. Blake Wheeler picked up an assist for Winnipeg (11-5-1), extending his point streak to 11 games (two goals, 18 assists).
Jakub Vrana had Washington's (8-9-3) goal and Copley stopped 21 shots.
Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for the Jets.
Washington was coming off a 5-2 win over Minnesota on Tuesday in their first of a four-game road trip.
Copley was in net for that win and had to quickly get ready for the Winnipeg game because starter Braden Holtby was a late-day scratch with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov left the ice in the first period soon after a check to the head by Jets forward Brandon Tanev and didn't return.
Washington coach Todd Reirden said Kuznetsov was kept out for precautionary reasons. Holtby is receiving some treatment after he skated with the team's goalie coach earlier on Wednesday and will be evaluated.
"I was really proud of our guys tonight," Reirden said. "You lose an elite player like Kuznetsov and you've got Phoenix Copley playing his first-ever back-to-back and [Michal] Kempny's sick.
"I really liked our effort. That first period was outstanding, one of our best periods of the year."
T.J. Oshie was flipped to the ice by Josh Morrissey late in the game and look dazed after the play. Reirden had no injury update for Oshie after the game.
It took the Jets almost 13 minutes to get their first shot on goal, but about a dozen seconds later Vrana used his team's eighth shot to fire the puck high past Hellebuyck for the 1-0 lead at 13:00 of the opening period.
Scheifele scored on the power play at 5:05 of the second period, seven seconds after Alex Ovechkin went to the penalty box for interference. Scheifele has four goals and three assists in his past three games. It was his 10th goal.
The teams went into the game Nos. 1 and 2 in the league on the power play, with the Jets at 34 per cent and the Capitals at 30.3.
Washington had a power play late in the third, but couldn't solve Hellebuyck.
Winnipeg was one-for-three on the power play and the Capitals zero-for-three.
"[Hellebuyck] made a lot of big saves," Scheifele said. "He's the backbone of our team and he does that every night.
"We had a lot of big blocks, including one from [Jacob] Trouba on [Ovechkin]. We had a lot of good shots from our D-men, so it was a good team effort."
Hellebuyck said facing Ovechkin during a power play is an experience.
"Not very fun," he said. "The guy can shoot. He's got a lot of power play goals and you're alone with him. It's a scary thought."
The Jets end a four-game homestand Friday against Buffalo. The Capitals play in Colorado Friday.