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HOCKEY

Winnipeg holds off Washington for capital gain victory

The Winnipeg Jets ate into Southeast division rival Washington's lead for the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference with a vital 3-2 home win over the Capitals on Friday.

Dustin Byfulgien tapped in a perfect pass from Evander Kane midway through the third period for the game-winner, snapping Washington's four-game winning streak and drawing the Jets to within two points of the Capitals with 11 games remaining.

Andrew Ladd opened the scoring for Winnipeg in the first period but the lead lasted just 22 seconds as Brooks Laich tipped in and equalizer.

However, the Jets squandered a chance to add to their lead when two Capitals penalties in quick succession gave Winnipeg a two-man advantage before the end of the period.

Washington, by contrast, took full advantage of a powerplay of their own when they made it 2-2 on Mathieu Perreault's shot through the legs of Ondrej Pavelec in the opening minute of the third period.

A penalty to Winnipeg defenseman Ron Hainsey with just over two minutes remaining created some anxious moments as Washington pulled their goalie in favor of an extra attacker but the visitors were unable to find a third tying goal.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien)