NHL’s two best power plays locked, loaded for Jets-Caps tonight

The Winnipeg Jets face a big test tonight when they welcome the defending Stanley Cup champions to town.

Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals are coming off an impressive 5-2 victory Tuesday night in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild and will be looking to make it back-to-back road victories. However, they’ve struggled to find consistency so far this season, with just an 8-6-3 record that has them currently outside the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg has been flying high of late, winning two straight games at Bell MTS Place against Colorado and New Jersey to improve to 10-5-1. The Jets sit third in the Central Division behind Nashville and Minnesota. This is the third of a four-game homestand, which wraps up Friday with a visit from Buffalo.

Jets coach Paul Maurice won’t make any lineup changes tonight, meaning defenceman Sami Niku and forward Brendan Lemieux will be the healthy scratches. Lemieux is eligible to play after his two-game suspension for a blindside hit to the head of Florida’s Vincent Trocheck but has lost his spot, at least for now, to Nic Petan.

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The Winnipeg Jets face a big test tonight when they welcome the defending Stanley Cup champions to town.

Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals are coming off an impressive 5-2 victory Tuesday night in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild and will be looking to make it back-to-back road victories. However, they’ve struggled to find consistency so far this season, with just an 8-6-3 record that has them currently outside the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.

Winnipeg has been flying high of late, winning two straight games at Bell MTS Place against Colorado and New Jersey to improve to 10-5-1. The Jets sit third in the Central Division behind Nashville and Minnesota. This is the third of a four-game homestand, which wraps up Friday with a visit from Buffalo.

Jets coach Paul Maurice won’t make any lineup changes tonight, meaning defenceman Sami Niku and forward Brendan Lemieux will be the healthy scratches. Lemieux is eligible to play after his two-game suspension for a blindside hit to the head of Florida’s Vincent Trocheck but has lost his spot, at least for now, to Nic Petan.

Connor Hellebuyck will make his sixth-straight start in net for the Jets. Braden Holtby goes for the Capitals

Both teams would be wise to stay out of the penalty box tonight. Winnipeg has the NHL’s No. 1 power-play, while Washington is right behind them at No. 2.

“We’ve seen it for years what that power-play can do,” captain Blake Wheeler said following Wednesday’s optional skate.

Wheeler will try to keep the momentum going on his top line with Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers. Wheeler is on a 10-game point streak (2 G, 17A) and was just named the NHL’s second star of the week.

“We’re moving, first and foremost. When our legs are driving us, it creates problems because all three of us skate really well,” said Wheeler. “When our line’s going good we’re going to create a lot of offensive chances.”

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

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