Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby was happy to share the credit for his third shutout of the season.
Holtby stopped 35 shots and Mike Ribeiro had a goal and an assist as the Capitals blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 Saturday.
“Goalies usually get too much credit for the good and too much blame for the bad, that’s how it goes,” Holtby said.
“You could see in a game like this, it’s not a shutout for myself, that’s a shutout for the team.”
Matt Hendricks and Todd Brouwer, with his team-leading ninth goal of the season, also scored as the Capitals inched their record up to 8-11-1.
Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves for the Jets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
The last time the Jets went scoreless at home was Jan. 12, 2012 in a 2-0 loss to San Jose. The last time they were shut out was in a 3-0 loss in Montreal on Feb. 5, 2012.
Evander Kane says the Jets will ease the sting of the loss once they get out of town.
“We’re going to have to put this one behind us,” Kane said. “We’ve got (four) on the road here so we’ve got to be ready to go and be the road warriors again like we were last time.”
The Jets (10-10-1) won four of five road games before coming home to beat New Jersey 3-1 on Thursday before being shut out for the first time this season by the Capitals.
Just 41 seconds into the game, the Jets had to kill a penalty when forward Bryan Little was called for holding.
The Capitals only got one shot on net with the man advantage, and it was their only shot during the first 10 minutes of the period.
Winnipeg ended up outshooting Washington 15-5 in the scoreless first.
Ribeiro said those statistics are deceiving because about seven or eight of them weren’t quality chances.
“I could have probably stopped those ones from the side,” Ribeiro said. “(They) weren’t dangerous shots like they had at the start and we knew that.
“We just played simple. Our (defencemen) chipped the puck out most of the time and let the forwards race for it a lot of times. That’s what we need on the road, just a simple game.”
Washington scored first during a possession that looked like it was going to cost Winnipeg more than a goal.
Winnipeg’s first-line right-winger Blake Wheeler slid to block a point shot by Capitals defenceman John Erskine and then buckled to the ice in pain.
The play continued and Hendricks redirected a shot by Ribeiro that went over Pavelec’s shoulder and into the net at 10:56 for Hendricks’ fourth goal of the season.
Wheeler was still lying on the ice during the goal. He was helped off by teammates as he kept his weight off his right foot.
Despite looking like a bad injury, Wheeler was back on the ice a few shifts later and finished the game.
Head coach Claude Noel said Wheeler “has probably a heavy-duty bone contusion” on the side of his leg and would be assessed.
Jets right-winger Anthony Peluso left the game in the first period after getting into a fight with Capitals left-winger Aaron Volpatti, who was playing his first game after being picked up on waivers.
Peluso, who got in the most punches on the helmetless Volpatti, is “week-to-week” with a hand injury, Noel said.
The Capitals turned the tables in shots on goal in the second period, outshooting Winnipeg 13-4.
They kept the pressure going in the third and it paid off with goals 52 seconds apart.
Brouwer scored when his wrist shot went over Pavelec’s glove at 3:24.
Ribeiro then flipped the rebound of an Alex Ovechkin shot over Pavelec’s stick at 4:16 for the 3-0 lead.
Noel said he thought his team played hard and with some heart and it would have helped if they’d scored on the power play.
Both teams went 0-for-3 and Winnipeg is now 1-for-32 on the power play in their last 12 games and 10-for-70 (14.3 per cent) on the season.
“The numbers aren’t great and they haven’t been great,” Noel said.
“We’ve been winning in spite of it, and we knew that this could happen so we just know that it’s got to come around.”
Notes - Winnipeg’s streak of scoring first in seven straight games (5-2 during that streak) was snapped ... The Jets head out for a four-game road trip next week, with a pair against Florida, one versus Tampa and the last against New Jersey on their way home.