The Winnipeg Jets faced a must-win game against a former Southeast Division rival in the Carolina Hurricanes, who were trying to bounce back on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Jets had a huge advantage early, going on a 5-on-3 within the first five minutes of the game. After sustained offensive pressure, Winnipeg had racked up a 7-0 shot total before the half-way point in the period. Cam Ward made what will likely be the Save of the Year on Bran Little, which you can view here. Both teams finished the first period without at goal, but the Jets up in shots 13-6.
The Jets opened the scoring in the second period, when Jim Slater tipped a shot for his first goal of the season, in his first game back since returning from injury. The Stall brothers gave the ‘Canes the lead, with Eric Stall scoring 38 seconds after Slater, and brother Jordan following up just less than two minutes later. Riley Nash extended the lead with his ninth of the season, as the ‘Canes ended the middle frame up 3-1 in goals after putting a whopping 21 shots on goal.
Bryan Little finally got his revenge against Ward just 90 seconds into the third period, scoring his 21st after a great pass by Michael Frolik. The Canes’ trap game fell apart in the final 10 minutes, and the Jets brought the heat, with a goal by Mark Stuart that was called off due to goalie interference by Dustin Byfuglien. Unable to come through on several goal-line scrambles, the Jets fell 3-2 the final.
Ward easily won the battle of the goaltenders with a 34-save effort, including at least 5 first-rate saves. Al Montoya was caught twice by the ‘Canes, and finished with a fine 29 saves on 32 shots.
Andre Sekera played 24:55 of TOI, a game high, and recorded two assists. Toby Enstrom was the Jets’ leader in ice time with 24:49.
Zach Bogosian, who was coming off an injury entering the game, left in the third period and did not return.
The Jets beat a Hurricanes team that is only 3-7-0 in their last 10 games on the road, and were coming off a loss in Chicago just the night before.
The Jets may not be eliminated from the playoffs mathematically, but now trail by six points with the Phoenix Coyotes still in action late Saturday. It seems that everyone from Don Cherry to Shane Hnidy have given up on Winnipeg’s team, with less than a month and 10 games to go in the regular season.
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Tags: Winnipeg Jets