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Capitals try to rebound against Jets

by Corey Masisak

CAPITALS (7-11-1) at JETS (10-9-1)


Last 10: Washington 5-5-0; Winnipeg 6-4-0

Season series: Winnipeg won the first meeting of the season Jan. 22 at Verizon Center, and the Jets have won four straight against the Capitals. The next time Washington travels to Winnipeg, the two teams will play at MTS Centre on back-to-back nights.

Big story: The Jets could end the day in first place in the Southeast Division, while the Capitals have to rebound from an ugly loss in Philadelphia.

Team Scope:

Capitals: Washington won five of seven games and looked to be on the verge of rebounding from a terrible 2-8-1 start -- but one night at Wells Fargo Center did a lot to kill that momentum. The Philadelphia Flyers rolled to a 4-0 lead and cruised to an easy win, pushing the Capitals back into last place in the Eastern Conference.

Alex Ovechkin strung together a few good games in a row, but NBCSN analyst Mike Milbury blasted him during the second intermission of the Flyers game for poor effort and embellishing a hit. Defenseman Mike Green returned after missing nearly two weeks with a groin injury, but after playing in back-to-back games he is out after aggravating it.

The Capitals claimed grinder Aaron Volpatti on waivers from Vancouver, and he is likely to make his debut for Washington against Winnipeg. Matt Hendricks is expected to move up to the top line after Jason Chimera had been there for several games without scoring a goal.

Jets: Two weeks ago Winnipeg was in danger of falling into the basement in the East; now, the Jets are now trying to claim the division lead. Five wins in six games, including four away from home, have Winnipeg level with Carolina at 21 points.

The Jets were dynamite at home (23-13-5) in 2011-12, but this season they are 4-5-1 at MTS Centre and 6-4-0 on the road. The offensive is clicking as the Jets have scored at least three goals in five straight games. Captain Andrew Ladd it tied for fourth in the League with 12 goals, and Evander Kane is one of only two players (along with Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz) to have at least seven goals and 50 hits.

Who's hot: Mike Ribeiro has 14 points in the past 11 games for the Capitals. … Ladd has four goals and seven points in the past five games for the Jets.

Injury report: Green (groin) is out for the Capitals, along with Brooks Laich (groin), Marcus Johansson (upper body) and Jack Hillen (upper body). Winnipeg will be without defensemen Tobias Enstrom (shoulder) and Zach Redmond (leg).

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