Holtby, Capitals blank Jets, 3-0
WINNIPEG -- Even with a 35-save shutout in the books, Washington goalie Braden Holtby wasn't reaching his big blocker around to pat himself on the back Saturday.
The 23-year-old netminder earned his third shutout of the season as the Capitals blanked the Winnipeg Jets, 3-0, before a sellout crowd at MTS Centre.
Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist for Washington, while Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouwer also scored.
Holtby preferred to share the credit for the tidy victory as the Caps stopped the streaking Jets, who had won five of their last six games.
"Goalies usually get too much credit for the good and too much blame for the bad; that's how it goes," Holtby said. "You could see in a game like this; it's not a shutout for myself. That's a shutout for the team.
We earned it as a group."
Washington improved to 8-11-1 on the season, while Winnipeg fell to 10-10-1.
Holtby was particularly sharp in the first period, facing a 15-shot barrage as the Jets came out firing. But the majority of those blasts came from spots outside the danger zone, he said.
"That's the way the system is supposed to be played," Holtby said. "There might be some high shot totals ... but it's a lot of perimeter stuff. It frustrated teams when they can't get into the house area, the slot."
Capitals coach Adam Oates agreed.
"(The Jets) have some really good players over there," Oates said. "If they get the puck to the point and we're doing a good job in front, then Braden sees the puck all the way. And that's not a really threatening shot in this league."
After a scoreless first period, Washington led, 1-0, after 40 minutes on a goal by Hendricks. Brouwer and Ribeiro scored 52 seconds apart early in the final period.
The Jets have the worst power-play efficiency in the NHL, and the problems continued Saturday. Winnipeg was 0-for-3 with the man advantage and has scored only once in its last 32 chances.
Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said special-teams play continues to be a problem area.
"We know that it's going to come around," Noel said. "It's not like we're not trying. We're well aware of it and we're trying to get it changed. We are going to have to start producing. It affects things, morale, the momentum. And people take it personally. They want to be part of success."
Jets' goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves.
Winnipeg heads out on a four-game trip, which begins Tuesday in Sunrise, Fla., against the Florida Panthers.
Washington hosts the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, the first of a two-game home stand.
Washington opened the scoring midway through the second period. With Jets' winger Blake Wheeler squirming on the ice in obvious pain after sliding to block John Erskine's blast from the point, Hendricks wristed a shot high over Pavelec's shoulder for his fourth goal of the season at 10:56.
Early in the third period, the Capitals seized total control with two goals in only 52 seconds.
Brouwer fired in his eighth goal of the season at 3:24 off a faceoff won cleanly by Nicklas Backstrom, and Ribeiro scored on a rebound after Pavelec stopped Ovechkin on partial breakaway at 4:16.
NOTES: Jets' captain Andrew Ladd scored 10 goals in February, tying Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos for most in the month. ... Left-winger Aaron Volpatti played his first game with Washington after being claimed on waivers Thursday from Vancouver. He fared poorly in a first-period scrap with Jets' tough guy Anthony Peluso. ... Eric Fehr, raised about 90 minutes from Winnipeg, scored only two goals in 35 games during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season for the Jets. Now with the Capitals, the eighth-year pro had four goals and three assists in 16 games before Saturday. ... Mike Ribeiro was second in the NHL in power-play points with 13 (five goals, eight assists) coming into the game, behind injured Pittsburgh forward Evgeni Malkin. ... Jets' blue-liner Zach Redmond was released from a Raleigh, N.C., hospital Thursday and is home in Michigan recovering from season-ending leg surgery. The 24-year-old rookie suffered a laceration to his femoral artery and a vein when he was accidentally stepped on by a teammate at a morning skate on Feb. 21. ... Adam Oates, in his first year behind the Washington bench, played 19 seasons in the NHL split between seven teams. One of the game's greatest playmakers, he ranks 17th on the NHL's point-scoring list (1,420) and sixth in assists (1,079). ... Winnipeg center Olli Jokinen entered the game three goals shy of 300 in his NHL career.
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