The last time the Washington Capitals entered the third period in a scoreless tie, the bottom dropped out as they allowed three unanswered goals after scoring first within the last five minutes in a losing effort. Against the Winnipeg Jets Thursday, the Caps scored first and the Jets had no response.
Alex Ovechkin's goal with 1:14 left broke the scoreless tie and gave Washington a much-needed 1-0 win over Winnipeg.
With time running out and both Michal Neuvirth and Ondrej Pavelec putting on a clinic, Marcus Johansson's drop pass in the offensive zone found Ovechkin with enough space to put a wrist shot past Pavelec (27 saves) for his 10th goal of the season. The Jets pulled Pavelec in favor of an extra attacker, but could not convert.
Neuvirth, in just his ninth start of the season, made 26 saves to earn his first win since December 3. His shutout was the fifth of his career.
With the win, Washington vaults over Winnipeg in the standings and will get a chance to add to it Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche.