WINNIPEG - Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry supplied the offence as the Winnipeg Jets rallied in thrilling fashion from a 2-0, third-period deficit, but then…
Capitals forward Jay Beagle spoiled the party, scoring the winning goal with just 30 seconds left in the third period to give the visitors a 3-2 win Tuesday at MTS Centre.
The Jets fired a season-high 45 shots, but for the fourth and most maddening time this year, outshooting their opponent just wasn't enough.
Beagle beat Lowry on an offensive-zone faceoff, got the puck back to John Carlson at the point, who then found the forward in front for the winning goal after the Jets tallied twice in a 3:31 span to tie things up late in the third period.
Marcus Johansson had a goal and an assist for the Caps, while Braden Holtby made 43 saves to preserve the victory. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 24 for Winnipeg.
"There's going to come a time when (Lowry) takes that draw in a far more important game with the experience tonight… he digs in a little harder and gets a little better at it," Maurice said. "He's made real good improvements with his faceoffs this year. That's the job he's training to do."
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
With the loss, the Jets are now 4-6-0 on the year, but are pleased with how they've been playing of late - as frustrating as the most recent results have been, which is to say: Very.
"(What) you take from it and all is not fair in this league and just try to replicate that game on Thursday night," captain Blake Wheeler said. "We've played pretty well here recently and we're pretty happy with how our game's going. It's a pretty good hockey club over there - they're expected to have a lot of success this year - and we belonged out there."
Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler
Wheeler had an assist and led all forwards with 22:50 of ice time. He, along with Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers, combined for 16 of the Jets' 45 shots. Lowry, who felt the emotion at either end of the spectrum late in that pivotal third period, had a season- and career-high six.
All told, it was one of the Jets' best and most complete efforts of the season - and it came against one of the league's best teams.
Still, it doesn't erase the burn of a gut-wrenching defeat.
"There are some things we can do better," Maurice said. "We're talking about a team (Washington) that gives up 25 shots a night on average. … We could find a handle on a few more, get to the net a bit differently and be a little sharper with how we move the puck at times. But it was a pretty solid game."
Hellebuyck gave his team a chance with an exceptional third. With the Caps on the power play early on, Nicklas Backstrom made a great cross-ice pass to the Great 8, Alexander Ovechkin, but the goalie went post-to-post to make an incredible right-pad save on the one-timer.
Scheifele got things rolling offensively as a part of a 16-shot third period for the Jets. His initial blast from the right circle was easily turned aside, but he jumped on his own rebound and snapped a quick shot past Holtby to get the home side on the board at 13:04.
Then, Lowry got the Jets back on even terms with his first of the year 17:35. Joel Armia won a key board battle, got the puck down low to Lowry, and No. 17 made no mistake, driving the net and stuffing it home with a nifty move on the forehand.
Armia, meanwhile, now has four points in his last five games.
Video: WSH@WPG: Lowry dances around Holtby to tie game late
Winnipeg trailed by one but had a 14-8 lead on the shot clock after one period of play.
Capitals defenceman Karl Alzner opened the scoring with 43 seconds left in the period, firing a long shot through traffic and having it deflect off Ben Chiarot in front, beating a partially screened Hellebuyck high over the glove.
Johansson orchestrated the whole thing, winning a battle behind the Winnipeg net before dishing off to Alzner at the far point to record his team-leading fifth assist.
With a game-high three shots on goal to credit at this point in the game, Johansson eluded cover between the dots and buried a beautiful pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov to put the Capitals up by two at 8:15.
The 26-year-old now has five goals in the past three games and six on the year to lead the Capitals in scoring.
The Jets came close to cutting into the deficit late in the middle frame when Armia busted his way through traffic and made a sweet dangle in tight, but after Holtby came up with a spectacular stop with the left pad, T.J. Oshie made a great play in the blue paint to rob Brandon Tanev of his first NHL goal.
The play was reviewed, as Oshie straddled the goal line, eliminating the puck from view, but after a look by video goal judge, the original call was upheld.
LATE HITS: Shawn Matthias left the game late in the first period and did not return with a lower-body injury. Matthias was hauled down behind the net by Capitals defenceman Dmitry Orlov and had his left leg buckle underneath him. There was no update on his condition following the game.
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com