4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Stapleton's OT goal caps Jets rally over Washington

Mar 24, 2012 - 3:34 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Tim Stapleton's tally with 2:23 left in overtime allowed Winnipeg to complete a comeback from three goals down and beat Washington, 4-3, at Verizon Center.

Stapleton beat Michal Neuvirth with a high, quick wrister from the left circle to cap the rally from a 3-0 second-period deficit.

Bryan Little and Ben Maxwell also scored for the Jets, who snapped a two-game slide and crept within four points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Ondrej Pavelec needed to make just 20 stops for the win.

"I think it was our belief system. We didn't really waver. I think we recognized there was a lot of hockey to be played," said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel.

Alex Ovechkin tallied twice for the Capitals, who have dropped four of five and fell into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with Buffalo, which topped the Rangers on Friday.

Neuvirth ended with 38 saves in defeat as Washington remained four points behind Florida in the Southeast Division, after the Panthers lost to Edmonton in a shootout.

After several close calls, Chimera gave the Caps a 1-0 lead with 3:54 left in the first period, beating Pavelec at the right post on the backhand.

Ovechkin made it 2-0 with his patented laser shot from the left wing at 1:42 of the second period, then tripled Washington's edge during a delayed penalty on a one-timer from the left circle at 5:47.

It was all Winnipeg from there.

Maxwell connected just after the seven-minute mark to get the Jets on the board on a turnaround shot from in close, then Little's slam-dunk in the crease off a Tobias Enstrom point shot at 8:12 made it a one-goal contest.

Spencer Machacek knotted the game with 3:45 left in regulation, netting his first career goal, tipping in Maxwell's centering feed from the slot.

The Jets outshot the Capitals by a combined 19-2 in the final 22:37 of the contest, a fact lamented by defenseman Karl Alzner.

"We took our foot off the gas," he said. "We just fell apart pretty much. It was an embarrassing, embarrassing loss."

Game Notes

Winnipeg took four of six from Washington in the season series, including two of three in America's capital...Prior to the game, the Capitals recalled forward Cody Eakin from Hershey of the AHL...The Jets finish up a three-game road swing in Nashville on Saturday and the Capitals host Minnesota on Sunday.