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Jets fall to Capitals in road trip finale

Winnipeg out shoots Washington 34-18; Perreault scores in losing cause

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the finale of a four-game road trip, the Winnipeg Jets seem to do everything right.

Unfortunately, it didn't add up to a win.

The Jets outshot the Washington Capitals 34-18 on Sunday night and kept the Capitals power play off the board on their two opportunities.

But on the flip side, the Jets went 0-for-5 on their power play chances, including an extended 5-on-3 advantage in the first period.

Despite their best efforts, the Jets went home with a split on the trip after a 3-1 loss to the Capitals.

"No one likes losing. It definitely stings a bit. It was a big two points for us. We wanted to beat these guys in their building," said Bryan Little. "Overall we played a good game, we limited a lot of their chances against and kept the shots down and had a lot of chances.

"Nothing to hang our heads about, but it's a tough result."

Video: WPG@WSH: Perreault buries feed from Roslovic

Mathieu Perreault was the only Jet to beat Pheonix Copley on the night. His 12th of the season came in the first period, but it was a close call in the third period that kept this game from being tied.

Little and Adam Lowry were hammering away at a loose puck in the Washington crease and just as the whistle went, Copley - who the officials ruled had been pushed into the net by Little - lifted his leg to reveal the puck over the line.

It was ruled no goal due to the goaltender interference. Despite a challenge from Jets head coach Paul Maurice, the ruling on the ice stood.

"They just said it was a good challenge," Maurice said of his interaction with the officials after the play.

"I think the call on the ice stands because it was the call on the ice. I think Lowry is going for the puck. I think he put it in himself. I'm not complaining. I'm making that call all day long. They have to make a decision and we move on."

The loss dropped the Jets record to 40-24-4, which keeps them one point up on the Nashville Predators for the Central Division lead.

But despite the positives, coming home 2-2-0 on the four-game trip left a bitter taste in the team's mouth.

"That's why this one hurts a little more. It would have been nice to go home 3-1-0," said Little. "Overall we were playing some really good teams and we had some really good games where our level was high, including tonight. We'll go home with our heads held high and get ready for the next one."

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler

Washington got off to a quick start with Nicklas Backstrom scoring his 18th of the season from the high slot. His wrist shot beat a screened Connor Hellebuyck 4:35 into the opening period.

But the Jets would respond 1:48 later as Jack Roslovic slipped a pass from the side of the crease to Perreault - who had wrapped around the net undetected. Perreault smacked home the pass for his first goal since Feb. 5 - a span of 15 games.

It stayed that way until 5:28 to go in the middle frame when Carl Hagelin hopped out of the penalty box after his cross-checking penalty expired. He took a flip pass from Nic Dowd and went in alone on Hellebuyck, finding just enough space five-hole to put Washington up 2-1.

"That was a pretty incredible pass. It sucked back about three feet to a breakaway. It was one of those nights," said Wheeler, who finished with 22:24 of ice time and three shots on goal.

"We spent most of the game down there and on the power play a lot. We just couldn't finish."

Video: WPG@WSH: Hellebuyck stops Boyd's shot from the slot

Shot attempts at the end of 40 minutes where 37-23 in favour of the Jets, who also held the edge in overall shots on goal at 23-9.

"We played a heck of a road game here," said Maurice. "You don't like losing when you play well. Their guy made some good saves, got some good breaks around the net. But our compete was good.

"You get five opportunities to score on the power play, when that doesn't go, that hurts you. But they didn't score on theirs, so that part of the game was even."

Winnipeg's best chance for the equalizer near the halfway mark of the third, when Little or Lowry's potential goal was taken away following the review.

"I just saw a loose puck between his legs and I didn't hear a whistle. I was going for it. I was trying to whack it in," said Little. "It's tough to say. I think Lows saw the same thing I did that he didn't have it completely covered. We were both trying to get at it."

The Jets now head home for a three-game home stand beginning on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

"We liked our game an awful lot in three of the four (games)," Maurice said, reflecting on the trip. "Tampa's got a good hockey team that can make you look bad. I liked the way we played."

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