Charlie Lindgren really appreciated it when the Washington Capitals mounted a four-goal lead in Sunday’s second period against the Winnipeg Jets.
The netminder showed his thanks by foiling Winnipeg’s comeback attempt for a 5-2 Washington victory.
“To score four goals, as a goalie you love it,” Lindgren said. “It’s just a credit to our guys again for competing tonight, working hard, putting the puck in the net.
“Winnipeg obviously pushed back towards the end of the second. They pushed in the third, we hung tough, so good win for us.”
The Capitals extended their season-high win streak to four games, with Lindgren in net for all four victories. He made 29 saves against the Jets.
Lars Eller scored one of Washington’s second-period goals in his 900th career game.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin into an empty net also scored for the Capitals (14-12-4). Dmitry Orlov added two assists in his return from injury.
Capitals coach Peter Laviolette praised Lindgren, especially for his poise after the Jets made it 4-2 at 3:29 of the third.
“I just thought (Lindgren) settled everything down,” Laviolette said. “He tied things up, he gave us faceoffs and pucks didn’t bounce off of him.
“He did a really good job of taking care of the game and that’s the way he’s been now for the last three or four games. He’s been rock solid for us.”
Adam Lowry and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the Jets (18-8-1), who had a season-best four-game victory run halted.
Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for Winnipeg.
“We didn’t give up,” Dubois said. “Down 4-0, we kept going and kept pushing. Their goalie played well.
“We hit some posts and had some chances at the end of the second period. It could have been a two- or three-goal game instead of a four-goal game going into the third. And who knows what happens after that?”
Both goalies didn’t let a puck get by them in the first period.
The Capitals were outshooting the Jets 8-1 in the first eight minutes, including Ovechkin left standing in front of the crease in the first minute, but he couldn’t put a bouncing puck past Hellebuyck.
Lindgren was tested with a close-in Dubois shot with nine minutes left in the opening period. It was one of nine straight shots the Jets fired at the goalie, including on the period’s only power play.
Shots ended up 10-9 in Winnipeg’s favour after the first.
Washington then mounted a 4-0 lead in the second period.
Van Riemsdyk’s high wrist shot from the slot beat Hellebuyck at 3:25 of the second, followed by Kuznetsov’s power-play marker at 8:21.
The Capitals had a 57-second five-on-three, but Kuznetsov recorded his fourth goal of the season with 21 seconds remaining in the man advantage. He extended his point streak to five games with six assists during that span.
Johansson added his goal on a penalty shot at 9:55 after Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey slashed him on a breakaway. Johansson weaved his way toward Hellebuyck and sent a backhand shot past the netminder on the glove side.
Eller boosted the score to 4-0 with his sixth goal of the season off a rebound at 15:24.
Winnipeg came out fast in the third, with Lowry scoring off a rebound of Morrissey’s point shot 35 seconds into the period.
Dubois made it 4-2 with his 14th goal at 3:29.
“We started trading chances, but that’s the only way you’re going to get back in the game,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “Give them credit, they bent a little bit but didn’t break.”
After Hellebuyck was pulled with 3:40 left, Ovechkin went wide on his first attempt to hit the empty net, but was good on his second with 2:12 left. He sits at 797 career goals.
Eller has played 458 of his 900 NHL career games with Washington. He also suited up for 435 games with Montreal and seven for St. Louis.
The 33-year-old has recorded 360 points during those career games, including 159 goals and 201 assists.
The Denmark native is now two points shy of passing injured Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers (361 points) for second on the all-time Danish points list.
The Capitals are 14-1-1 when scoring three or more goals this season … Washington has scored a power-play goal in six straight games … Morrissey and Kyle Connor, who assisted on Dubois’ goal, both moved their point streaks to five games. Morrissey has six assists during the run and Connor three goals and five assists.
Jets: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Capitals: Travel to Chicago for a Tuesday game against the Blackhawks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2022.