There are times in hockey when the team that played better comesup on the short end of the stick. Last night was a perfect example of that.
Winnipeg had a plethora of scoring chances in the 1st period but were not able to capitalize on any of them. You would expect this high octane tempo Winnipeg showed, considering the fact that they were back in the MTS Centre. Some would argue that they were still hungover from their 4 game road trip they just returned from. The Sharks goalie, Antti Niemi, would prove to be the difference maker in the night, recording a shut out, stopping all 24 of Winnipeg’s shots.
Pavelec played wonderful as well. After giving up 5 against the Bruins, you could tell that he was zoned in. The 1st period resulted in chances for both teams, but neither could net one to take the advantage. At the 13:36 mark of the 2nd, San Jose’s Brent Burns outplayed Winnipeg’s defense. He was able to chip the puck by the Jets D and retrieve the puck alongside the board, and make a dandy pass to Sophomore standout Logan Couture. Couture was able to wrist the puck past Pavelec to take a 1-0 lead.
It did not take long for San Jose to score in the 3rd period to extend their lead. Brad Winchester was able to chip the puck past Pavelec at the 2:33 mark. Shortly after Pavelec made an outstanding save, highlight worthy, on San Jose to keep the deficit at 2. All attempts to score on Niemi would be denied. The Jets pulled Pavelec but still could not find the back of the net. Winnipeg was only able to muster 6 shots in the final period.
There is no question that the Jets are struggling. I do not think it is a confidence factor. I believe that they are running into good teams on top of their game right now. Winnipeg returns to the ice for a Saturday afternoon match up against the New Jersey Devils at 2:00 p.m. The Jets must notch 2 points on Saturday. They have dropped to 10th place in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Capitals by 5 points.
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