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Alex Ovechkin's late heroics lead Washington Capitals over Winnipeg Jets 1-0

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Alex Ovechkin's late heroics lead Washington Capitals over Winnipeg Jets 1-0

The Canadian Press
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WINNIPEG - Claude Noel thought his Winnipeg Jets got exactly what they deserved in Thursday's loss to the Washington Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin took advantage of a Winnipeg turnover to beat Ondrej Pavelec from just inside the blue-line with 1:14 left in regulation as the Capitals downed the Jets 1-0.

The play left Winnipeg's coach steaming.

"It's a bad two points we gave that team," Noel said. "We played the way Washington wanted to play. That's the sad part. They lulled us into this game that we thought we could be cute.

"We wanted to play a sideways game and not a north-south (game)."

Michal Neuvirth made 26 saves in his first shutout of the season for the Capitals (16-13-1).

Pavelec stopped 27 shots in taking the loss, which snapped the Jets' five-game home winning streak.

While Noel said he was "extremely mad," he didn't point the finger at Andrew Ladd, who turned the puck over to Nicklas Backstrom on the winner. Backstrom found Marcus Johansson, who made a drop pass to Ovechkin.

"It wasn't really necessarily the turnover," Noel said. "We didn't play well. We played poor."

Ovechkin, who was booed every time he touched the puck, didn't have a shot on goal until late in the second period.

"We had some problems playing these guys," said Ovechkin, whose team was coming off a 5-1 home loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday. "You feel good about yourself when you break through, especially after the last game we didn't play at all."

It was the third of six meetings this season between the Southeast Division rivals. The Jets (14-13-4) beat Washington in Winnipeg and lost on the road in overtime.

Pavelec said the Jets need to forget the loss and look ahead to their game Saturday at home against Anaheim.

"It happened. I made a mistake," said Pavelec, who made his 27th start this season. "It was a pretty good game. Both teams could win. We could win the game. They took advantage in the last minute and made a good play so they scored a goal.

"Tomorrow's another day and Saturday is a big game again. Tough game, tough loss, but it is what it is."

Neuvirth was forced to make a number of big saves in the first period as the Jets outshot the Capitals 14-7 and had the lone power play.

Winnipeg had two more power plays in the second, but only put one shot on Neuvirth with the man advantage.

Winnipeg ended up going 0-4 on the power play and Washington was 0-2.

Washington is now 4-4-0 under new head coach Dale Hunter and plays in Colorado on Saturday.

Notes: Jets forward Jim Slater was playing in his 400th NHL game, all with the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise. ... Ovechkin has racked up 65 points in his career versus the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise, more than any other team he's played against since 2005-06.

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Alex Ovechkin's late heroics lead Washington Capitals over Winnipeg Jets 1-0