WINNIPEG – Blake Wheeler grinned when he said his wife Sam might have been happier than he was when he finally scored his first goal of the season Thursday night.
“She’s heard all about (not scoring), but she’s been good,” said Wheeler, who scored for the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals.
“I’m sure she’s excited just to have something else to talk about.”
Wheeler and Kyle Wellwood both scored goals on the power play while Evander Kane added two of his own to propel the Jets (7-9-3) to back-to-back wins in regulation for the first time this season.
Evander Kane scored Winnipeg’s first two goals to help propel the Jets to first back-to-back wins in regulation this season.
Alexander Semin had the only goal for Washington (10-6-1).
Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec faced 32 shots in his 11th straight start.
Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth let in the four goals on 31 shots. He was replaced by Tomas Vokoun for 41 seconds in the second period, but Vokoun didn’t face a shot.
Winnipeg went two for five on the power play. Washington was 0-5, including having a two-man advantage for 1:01 late in the second period.
“That can make or break a game,” said Kane.
“It was great to get some power-play goals and start to execute on the power play.”
Kane, who has a team-high eight goals, agreed the back-to-back wins against Southeast Division rivals boosts their confidence after a 5-2 win against Tampa Bay on Monday.
“I think guys are starting to get a little more involved, starting to get their bounces,” Kane said. “It’s good to see.”
Semin got the game’s first goal when he scored his fourth of the season after pausing in stride before firing a shot past Pavelec at 3:53 of the first period.
Kane replied for the Jets four minutes later on a close wrist shot that beat Neuvirth.
“I thought the first five minutes was OK … but then every chance they got we gave them,” Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said.
“You’re right, it started to unravel from there.”
Boudreau said he changed goalies briefly to try to slow the Jets’ momentum and quiet the fans.
“The best way to stop a crowd from cheering is not making stupid mistakes in your own zone and giving them opportunities to score,” Boudreau said.
Three unanswered goals in the second period by the Jets vaulted them to the 4-1 lead.
Kane made it 2-1 at 6:38 before the power-play goals less than three minutes apart stretched Winnipeg’s lead.
Wheeler started it off with his goal at 8:31 and Wellwood followed with his sixth of the season at 10:54.
Winnipeg hosts Philadelphia on Saturday and Washington plays in Toronto.
Notes: Jets captain Andrew Ladd and defenceman Dustin Byfuglien were both playing their 100th game for the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise…Spotted in the crowd was Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak.