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HOCKEY

Ovechkin leads Caps past Jets

It wasn't a shutout, but the Washington Capitals still tightened the Southeast Division race.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Braden Holtby made 30 saves and the Capitals swept back-to-game games in Winnipeg with a 6-1 rout.

Holtby had blanked the Jets in each of the last two matchups -- both at the MTS Centre. He turned aside 20 shots in Thursday's 4-0 triumph.

Mike Ribeiro and Marcus Johansson each had two assists for Washington, which closed to within five points of the first-place Jets.

Winnipeg starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals on nine shots. Al Montoya stopped 12 shots in relief for the Jets, who have lost three of four overall.

"You can dice it and slice it however you want, but we didn't win and that's disappointing," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel.

Ribeiro set up goals separated by 3:55 in the first period.

Skating below the icing line, Ribeiro slipped a pass to the left circle that Brooks Laich one-timed past Pavelec at 12:10. Troy Brouwer then converted a feed from the crafty forward on a 2-on-1 rush at 16:05.

The Capitals padded their lead in the middle frame with two goals in a 1:45 span.

Jay Beagle fired a shot behind Pavelec from the slot at 5:50, and Ovechkin greeted Montoya with a wrister earmarked for the top left corner at 7:35.

"I thought in the second period we played really well," said Washington head coach Adam Oates. "We played good hockey, got some goals and we gave ourselves a little cushion."

Mike Green scored for Washington at 1:51 of the third period, and Dustin Byfuglien finally solved Holtby at 9:51.

A power-play goal by Ovechkin capped the scoring with 4:03 remaining.

Game Notes

This marked the first time in Capitals history that they faced the same regular-season opponent on consecutive nights on the road ... The Jets were 0-for-5 on the power play.