It was 28 degrees below zero in Winnipeg when the Washington Capitals left for their game there tonight.
Most people would avoid such a winter wonderland. But the Capitals have never lost to Winnipeg. They are 6-0-2 against the Jets, including a 7-3 victory Dec. 4 at Capital Centre.
The Jets are 3-2-2 in their last seven games, including a victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team they had never before beaten. Much of their recent success can be attributed to two things: an easier schedule (early on, they played 18 games in 34 days), and the play of Dale Hawerchuk, the No. 1 draft choice in 1981. He has 27 goals and 29 assists this season.
The Capitals have one loss in their last five games; the other four ended in ties. As usual, their defense is on the defensive. They recalled defenseman Tony Camazzola from the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League. He will meet the team in Winnipeg.
Rick Green aggravated the injury to his right shoulder Saturday; Greg Theberge strained the ligaments in his knee last week against Edmonton, and Randy Holt hurt a knuckle on his left hand during a fight with Bob Nystrom during the 2-2 tie with the Islanders.
Tonight's game is the first of a three-game road trip. The Capitals play in Boston Saturday afternoon, in New York against the Rangers Sunday night, and return home to play the Rangers again Jan. 27.