With Alexander Ovechkin still on the cusp of history, the Washington Capitals will try to extend a three-game winning streak when they host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Washington won the first game of its back-to-back on Thursday, a 3-2 overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators.
The Capitals surrendered a late lead to force overtime but still won on a goal by Marcus Johannson. Sonny Milano and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for Washington.
“I thought it was a pretty good game,” Kuznetzov said. “So happy to get the two points and just leave on a good note.”
Winnipeg is also playing the second game of a back-to-back. The Jets lost 3-2 to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The Bruins became the 10th team in NHL history to get a point in each of their first 20 home games (18-0-2).
The Jets had a 2-0 lead at the end of the first period but watched as the Bruins battled back and eventually won in regulation after goals by David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk and Nick Foligno.
“It was the penalties — three penalties in a row that caught us up and hurt us,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “We’ve got to get cleaner in that part of the game if you want to hold a lead.”
Winnipeg had starting goalie Connor Hellebuyck back after he had been out earlier in the week due to illness. He likely will get another rest against Washington. Bowness likes to split goalies in back-to-back games and likely will turn to David Rittich.
Rittich will try to avoid being the answer to an Ovechkin-based trivia question.
Ovechkin, 37, has 800 goals, third most in NHL history, and is trying to match Gordie Howe (801) for second. Wayne Gretzky is the all-time leader, with 894.
Ovechkin has gone four games without a goal after recording a hat trick to get to 800. Despite not scoring, he does have four assists in that span, including two against Ottawa on Thursday.
Ovechkin nearly scored No. 801 on Thursday, but his shot from the slot was denied by Cam Talbot’s outstretched left pad midway through the third.
His six shots in that game gave Ovechkin 6,211, moving him past Ray Bourque (6,209) for first on the NHL’s all-time list.
Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 38 points (20 goals, 18 assists), while Kuznetsov has 27 points (5 goals, 22 assists) in 34 games.
Defenseman Josh Morrissey leads the Jets with 39 points (6 goals, 33 assists). Kyle Connor has 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) and Pierre-Luc Dubois has (15 goals, 22 assists).
Charlie Lindgren will get the start for Washington. Lindgren has a .910 save percentage and a 2.71 goals-against average in 16 games.
–Field Level Media