The Washington Capitals arrived here seeking to continue cleaning up their defensive play and shoring up their puck management. Instead Tuesday night’s game offered a case study in what not to do for both.

Even with the plague of turnovers defensive breakdowns odd-man rushes against and three squandered one-goal leads the Capitals overcame their own sloppiness to capture a 5-4 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets.

Martin Erat scored the decisive goal in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Capitals their first set of consecutive victories this season and put a winning sheen on an error-riddled game.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times when we had leads especially in the second period” Coach Adam Oates said. “But obviously [the Jets] carried the play.”

Alex Ovechkin recorded two goals his eighth and ninth while Mikhail Grabovski and Troy Brouwer also scored to help counter the chances Washington gave up. But it was goaltender Braden Holtby who had the toughest task of the evening facing a career-high 47 shots and stopping 43 also a career-best mark before making two saves and forcing a third shot wide in the shootout.

The teams combined on a six-goal second period by the end of which the Capitals had allowed 30 shots including many dangerous chances. The defensive struggles were so apparent that Holtby felt the need to speak up in the dressing room during intermission.

“Everyone here wants to win and I don’t think we were putting in an effort to win a game after the second” Holtby said. “I thought we did a much better job in the third. The shootout spoke for itself and our guys bailed me out so it goes both ways. It’s not a pretty win but you need those along the way to give you confidence that you can win even when you don’t have your ‘A’ game.”

Against a Winnipeg squad hungry to close out its six-game homestand with a win the Capitals knew to prepare for an aggressive foe. The Jets dominated the pace in the early going with an abundance of odd-man rushes and fast breaks.

Winnipeg faced no obstacles crossing the offensive blueline and frequently caught the Capitals off guard in the neutral zone or their own end with sudden bursts of speed. Fortunately for the visitors Winnipeg sabotaged its own best looks in the first with shots that went wide or passes that were off the mark. But that trend wouldn’t last.

“I felt bad for Holtsy” Karl Alzner said. “He had to make some massive saves. It probably should have been 7-4 8-4 for them. There was a couple things we do not like to see that we’re not happy with but we are happy we battled enough to get a win.”