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Capitals at Jets preview

Ovechkin, Laine, NHL's top two goal-scorers in past three seasons, face off

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

CAPITALS (8-6-3) at JETS (10-5-1)



The Game

Alex Ovechkin and Patrik Laine, the top two goal-scorers in the NHL since the start of the 2016-17 season, will meet when the Washington Capitals visit the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place on Wednesday.

Ovechkin, the Capitals captain, has 12 goals this season and leads all players with 94 in the past three seasons. Laine has eight goals this season and 88 since entering the NHL in 2016-17.

Laine has 144 points (88 goals, 56 assists) in his first 171 NHL games. Ovechkin had 207 points (103 goals, 104 assists) in his first 171 games.

This is the second of back-to-back road games for the Capitals, who defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-2 on Tuesday.

The Jets, who are seeking their third straight win, have outscored opponents 10-4 in their previous two games. Winnipeg is 7-3-0 in its past 10 games and has allowed two goals or fewer in four of its past six.


Players to watch

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a six-game point streak.

Jets forward Blake Wheeler has 19 points (two goals, 17 assists) in a 10-game point streak, including four straight multipoint games.


They said it

"Hopefully we can, from a strategy standpoint, manage the game a little bit better than we've done in our past back-to-backs." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

"They got a lot of skill, their power play is deadly -- they're a good team, they won the Stanley Cup last year. They got a lot of good pieces and they move the puck really well. As a whole team, every line's got to be prepared for them. It will be a fun challenge again tonight." -- Jets forward Mark Scheifele


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Chandler Stephenson -- Travis Boyd -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Michal Kempny -- Matt Niskanen

Christian Djoos -- Madison Bowey

Pheonix Copley

Scratched: Jonas Siegenthaler, Nic Dowd, Dmitrij Jaskin

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), Braden Holtby (upper body)


Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Kyle Connor -- Bryan Little -- Mathieu Perreault

Brandon Tanev -- Adam Lowry -- Patrik Laine

Jack Roslovic -- Andrew Copp -- Nic Petan

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Ben Chiarot -- Dustin Byfuglien

Joe Morrow -- Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Brendan Lemieux, Sami Niku

Injured: Dmitry Kulikov (upper body)


Status report

Holtby will not start as was expected because of an upper-body injury. It will be Copley's second straight start. He made 26 saves against the Wild. ... Washington did not have a morning skate. … Lemieux returns from a two-game suspension because of an illegal check to the head of Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck on Nov. 2. He is not expected to play.


Stat pack

Ovechkin needs one power-play goal to tie Mario Lemieux (236) for seventh place on the all-time list, and two to tie Brendan Shanahan (237) for sixth. ... Scheifele has 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his past nine games. … Byfuglien has eight points (one goal, seven assists) during a six-game point streak.

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