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Byfuglien scores winner as Jets top Caps 3-2

Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) scores the game-winning goal against Washington Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun (29) as John Carlson (74) defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Friday, March 16, 2012. Winnipeg Jets' Dustin Byfuglien (33) scores the game-winning goal against Washington Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun (29) as John Carlson (74) defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Friday, March 16, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)
March 16, 2012
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Dustin Byfuglien crashed the net and scored the go-ahead goal in the third period as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Friday night.

As Byfuglien skated in front of Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun, Evander Kane sent the puck into the crease and the big defenseman tipped it in at 9:21 of the third. Winnipeg moved into ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points, one point ahead of idle Buffalo.

The Jets are also just two points behind the eighth-place Capitals.

Washington went on the power play during the final 2:22 of the game after Ron Hainsey was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking, but the Jets killed it off.

Andrew Ladd and Nik Antropov also scored for Winnipeg, while Byfuglien added an assist. Ondrej Pavelec made 20 saves for his 27th win of the season.

Brooks Laich and Mathieu Perreault had goals for Washington, while Vokoun made 25 saves as the Capitals' four-game winning streak ended.

Ladd opened the scoring with a backhand shot that went over Vokoun's glove at 11:08 for his third goal in two games.

Laich evened things 22 seconds later when he redirected Marcus Johansson's shot from the blue line. Wheeler assisted on Ladd's goal, extending his points streak to six games with four goals and four assists.

Winnipeg went ahead 2-1 late in the second period on a good effort by Antropov. With a Washington defender draped over him, Antropov got his stick on a pass from the back of the net by Tim Stapleton and flipped the puck in the net with a backhand shot at 16:10.

The Capitals started the third period on the power play after a questionable holding call on Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom with 10 seconds left in the second. It was a costly penalty as Hainsey couldn't clear the puck and it banged into Perreault, who then fired it into the net just 27 seconds in to make it 2-2.

Byfuglien's goal came during a four-on-four as Wheeler and Washington's Troy Brouwer were off for roughing.

Winnipeg was 0 for 5 on the power play, while Washington was 1-3.

The teams play each other for the last time during the regular season next Friday in Washington.

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