After an average performance against the L.A Kings on Thursday night, the Winnipeg Jets hosted the Ottawa Senators for an afternoon match up on Saturday. Going into today’s tilt against Ottawa, the Jets were 3-0-1 vs Canadian teams. Before the game, a solider rappelled down from the rafters before the signing of O’Canada to honor the military. Ondrej Pavelec got his 5th straight start going head to head against Craig Anderson of the Senators.
The first period wasn’t a great one for the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg was unable to sustain pressure in the Ottawa zone throughout most of the period. The Senators were the first to get on the board and it was on the power play. Milan Michalek scored his 11th goal of the year for the Senators on a circus goal that I believe Ondrej Pavelec should have stopped. Going into the Ottawa slot area Andrew Ladd was interfered with by Chris Neil and the Jets were given an opportunity to get the equalizer. At 16:59 of the first period, Bryan Little scored his 20th on a rebound on the power play. However, this tie would not last long as Jared Cowen would give the Sens back the lead just thirty eight seconds later at 17:37. Ottawa and Winnipeg would go into the first intermission with the Senators leading the Jets 2-1.
With eleven penalties called in the second period , this was also another bad period for the Winnipeg Jets. Eric Gryba would notch Ottawa’s third goal of the game, early in the second period and this is when Ottawa was starting to take over, it was no 3-1. The Jets managed come within a goal when Toby Enstrom ripped a slap shot from the blue line on the power play. It was 3-2 for Ottawa when Kyle Turris sniped a shot past Pavelec for his 21st of the season and at 4-2, it was getting ugly for Winnipeg. Mike Hoffman scored his first goal on a brilliant play set up by Ales Hemsky and Jason Spezza. Paul Maurice now had enough of the onslaught and pulled Pavelec putting Montoya in net. For Winnipeg fans this is not what we wanted to see heading into the second break down by three, things were not looking good.
Winnipeg would out shoot Ottawa by a count of 22-7 in the third but it just wasn’t enough. Hemmed in their own zone the majority if the third period, all Ottawa could do was watch Craig Anderson make save after save. The Jets would make it interesting when Dustin Byfuglien would score a nice goal on a slap shot and make it 5-3. That was all Winnipeg would get as they lose another game to Ottawa, a team they have never beat at home. With every game and every point so meaningful right now the Jets need to rebound quick.
Today’s game was a matter of which team wanted to win more and the Senators earned their two points today. With great goaltending and scoring when given opportunities, Ottawa won their 28th game of the year. This win will help them stay in the playoff hunt in the east with 67 points. The Winnipeg Jets who were down three points to Dallas before today’s game will get another chance in Colorado on Monday night.
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