Forty minutes into Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, the Washington Capitals didn’t look like a team desperate for points before the NHL’s two-week Olympic break. But after being heavily outshot and facing a one-goal deficit heading into the third period, they came out with a no-frills approach and were rewarded for it.

The Capitals scored three times in the final 20 minutes to capture a 4-2 win at Verizon Center. The critical tying and decisive goals came from Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin — and each came from hard-working play and winning battles in front of the net.

“I don’t think we play well first two periods and [the third] was great example how we have to play all three periods,” said Ovechkin, whose tally was his 40th and stood as the game-winner. “Everybody move their legs, everybody finish their checks. If we make mistakes nobody yell, nobody was putting finger on this guy and if you make mistakes different guy step up and cover it. It was a great period by us and we have to dictate it and play like that every game.”

Washington’s rally came after it jumped out to an initial lead on Troy Brouwer’s first goal of the game just 4 minutes 56 seconds in. After taking that advantage, though, the Capitals let Winnipeg back into the contest.

Martin Erat, who has yet to score a goal of his own in 50 games this season, accidentally knocked a rebound past Braden Holtby gifting the Jets a tying tally that would be credited to Bryan Little before the first period came to a close. Then early in the second period, Washington lost track of 6-foot-5, 265 pound Dustin Byfuglien as he joined a rush.

The hulking defenseman wristed a shot over Holtby’s left shoulder to give the Jets, winners of nine of their past 11 entering the contest, a 2-1 lead at 5:41. Winnipeg controlled the rest of the middle frame, outshooting the Capitals, 16-7, in the frame and 30-18 through the first 40 minutes. If Washington was going to get anything out of this game, things needed to change quickly.