Manitoba Daily

Saturday, December 9, 2023

With a 5-2 loss to Washington, the Jets’ life without Maurice begins

The Jets' life without Maurice starts with a 5-2 loss to Washington

Key takeaways:

  • On a day that began with Paul Maurice’s resignation and Dave Lowry’s appointment as interim head coach, the Jets were defeated 5-2 by the Washington Capitals.

The Winnipeg Jets have a new coach, but the same result.

The Jets were defeated 5-2 by the Washington Capitals on a day that began with Paul Maurice’s resignation and Dave Lowry’s appointment as interim head coach.

In the first period, neither team was able to score, with the visitors outshooting the Jets 14-8. Alex Ovechkin came within a whisker of breaking the record for most power-play goals in a career, but his blast from the point hit the crossbar and went out of play.

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Just over three minutes into the second period, Washington broke the tie. Brett Leason was able to get past Dominic Toninato’s backcheck, find some space in the slot, and beat Connor Hellebuyck to score the game’s first goal.

The Jets didn’t get off to a grand start, as the Capitals had a 14-3-3 record when scoring first, while Winnipeg had a 4-8-3 record when allowing the first goal.

After falling behind, the Jets began to create more opportunities, including a great passing setup from Kyle Connor to Kristian Vesalainen to Mark Scheifele. But Vitek Vanecek robbed the Jets’ number one center, and Washington would make the Jets pay for it moments later.

To Hellebuyck’s right, Daniel Sprong got loose and had all day to pick the top corner to extend the Capitals’ lead. Winnipeg tried unsuccessfully to argue that the Caps got away with a too-many-men penalty on the play.

Washington led 2-0 until 14:32 when Brenden Dillon’s wrist shot from the point beat a screened Vanecek for his first Jet goal.

The home team kept attacking until the final horn but were unable to score a second goal against Washington’s goalie. In the second period, Winnipeg had a 20-9 shot advantage.

Winnipeg Jets lose to Washington Capitals on day head coach Paul Maurice  resigns
The Jets’ life without Maurice starts with a 5-2 loss to Washington. Image from Yahoo

Early in the third period, Nikolaj Ehlers was tripped while speeding through the neutral zone, putting the Jets on the power play. Josh Morrissey was waiting at the point for Ehlers to rip a wrister high over Vanecek’s glove to tie the game. Morrissey’s fourth power-play goal of the season was tied for second on the team with Pierre-Luc Dubois’ six.

Washington took the lead just before the midway point of the period on Conor Sheary’s seventh goal of the season. A shot from the point bounced off Hellebuyck’s blocker, Justin Schultz’s shin pad, the post, and right to Sheary’s stick stationed at the side of the net for the tap-in after a long shift by the Capitals.

Winnipeg pressed for an equalizer but was unable to find it, and with just under three minutes remaining, the Jets made a mistake. While Washington had possession of the puck, Hellebuyck went for the extra attacker, and Michael Sgarbossa put the Caps up 4-2 from center ice.

With just over a minute remaining, the Jets pulled Hellebuyck again, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 752nd career goal, much to the delight of the many fans wearing his jersey at Canada Life Centre.

Vanecek was named the game’s first star after making 40 saves in the victory. In the loss, Hellebuyck made 34 saves.

Multiple Jets players left the game with injuries, including new call-up David Gustafsson, who played only 2:37 in his season debut, and Evgeny Svechnikov, who left in the third.

Winnipeg plays at home against St. Louis on Sunday afternoon.

Source: CTV News

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