Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 04/11/2013 12:03 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 04/11/2013 11:39 PM | Updates
The Winnipeg Jets have gone from intentions to actions in the last week.
It has transformed a team on a five-game losing streak into one with a three-game winning run after Thursday’s night’s 7-2 spanking of the Florida Panthers.
Now with 44 points — the same as the eighth-seeded and idle New York Rangers — after 42 games, the Jets have at least qualified for a run at a Stanley Cup playoff spot with their final six games.
Thursday allowed them to keep pace with all the winners ahead of and around them, still just two points off the Southeast Division lead held by the Washington Capitals.
"We might have been talking about it but we’ve been doing it," Jets left-winger Evander Kane said after two goals against the Panthers. "That’s the difference from maybe those five games on the losing streak. Now we’re on a bit of a winning streak. Instead of talking, we’re just going out and doing it and I think it’s good to see."
Aaron Gagnon’s second goal in two games for the Jets started a flurry at 3:54 — by 6:31 it was 2-2 after Kane also scored for Winnipeg and T.J. Brennan and Tomas Fleischmann answered twice for Florida.
Later in the period, Bryan Little found captain Andrew Ladd streaking to the net and the two connected for a pretty goal to put the home side ahead 3-2.
"I thought it was an entertaining game," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "It had ebbs and flows that I would have liked to have been more in control of but that’s what you get."
When Florida’s George Parros took down Alexander Burmistrov at mid-period, it opened the floodgates. Little found Clitsome for a power-play goal — Winnipeg’s first since March 26 in Carolina, ending a seven-game drought — and then Dustin Byfuglien and Kane scored on the next two shots to chase Florida starter Jacob Markstrom.
The three goals in 1:53 gave the Jets 10 second-period goals in the last three games.
"I thought Laddy’s goal was really big, getting us the lead going into the second," Kane said. "I think our seconds have really been the difference in these last three games. We’ve come out and wanted to kind of bury teams early in the game, not wait around until the third period and we did a good job of that tonight."
Chris Thorburn tipped in Ron Hainsey’s point shot at 11:53 for the final margin. Florida, last in the Eastern Conference, had played six straight one-goal games (and won four of them) before Thursday.
After the buzzer
Noel said after the game Little, who had another dynamic night, was fine after being head-checked by Florida’s Erik Gudbranson late in the second.
"I think he’s been skating the best I’ve seen him here in some time," Noel said. "Certainly in successive games. I find that is really standing out more than anything. And he’s playing really intelligent."
Added Ladd: "He’s got great vision. We’ve seen that since he’s been here. He’s a good setup guy, he’s got great speed to open up space for himself and find guys and it’s pretty standard for him. He’s been pretty good the last three years since I’ve been playing with him."
Updated on Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 5:49 PM CDT: pre-game update
7:55 PM: after 1 period
8:45 PM: after 2 periods
9:34 PM: quick game over
11:39 PM: game over rewrite with quotes
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
2 NYC police officers killed in ambush shooting
Craig Ferguson says good night as 'Late Late Show' host
Humphries makes her four-man bobsled debut
Arrest in home invasion involving D-Day vet
Twitter account isn't mine: Magnotta judge
Birth in a northern nation
Police seek driver after pickup truck hits pedestrian
Earthquake detected off British Columbia
Volunteers in annual drive get those hampers out to families
Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage
Protesters: 'It's not the time' for more Cuba ties
Oilsands leak prompts questions about steam
Police arrest suspect in daylight gas bar robbery
Police nab 8 in street gang drug bust
Remains may be decade old
Sources: Doneil Henry headed to West Ham
Protecting NDP values: Oswald
Jets' Byfuglien back on the ice after late-game mishap
Key of Bart: God Rest Ye Premier Selinger
N. Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking
From freezing drizzle and fog to snow
Backstopper bests the Bruins
The measure of the man
'I don't want to die a drunk'
Students help homeless stay clean, healthful
Birtle farm boy goes global
CentreVenture boss got a lot done
Sleep in the Greatest Manitoban's log cabin
Half of Manitobans support Gang of Five
Winnipeg Sun returns city money for indigenous-reporter internship
Infant remains in locker may be decade old: Brodsky
Stevenson defends WBC belt with KO win
Edmonton police cancel Amber Alert
Donated coins buy Christmas cheer
Winnipeg Tory MP under preliminary ethics probe in possible conflict of interest case
No charges laid against man who killed teen mugger
Oswald officially enters NDP leadership race; promises an "alternative vision"
Police seek help in finding 16-year-old boy
The terrible lessons we teach our kids
Four charged after gun stash found