DETROIT — Remember how about 10 days ago, when the Winnipeg Jets were saddled with a woeful 5-8-2 record, and the general consensus was the club was going to need to put together a winning streak soon if they didn’t want to risk this 2013-14 season slipping away?
Well, they’ve got one.
A 3-2 shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday evening was Winnipeg’s third in a row and fourth in their last five games — not to mention their second straight shootout win.
The Jets made the very most of their limited chances in this one, getting goals from centre Bryan Little in the first period and defenceman Zach Bogosian in the third period to send the game to overtime despite being outshot by a whopping 43-21 margin in the game.
Overtime settled nothing, but the Jets once again showed off their knack for the shootout, with goals from Devin Setoguchi and Andrew Ladd, who scored the shootout winner for the second game in a row.
But it was the performance of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who turned away 41 of 43 shots, that made it all possible for the heroics in the end.
"Pavelec really put his best foot forward to help us win this game," said Jets head coach Claude Noel. "Especially in the third I thought he was dynamic. He was really good and really helped us out."
Aw shucks, said Pavelec.
"I feel good right now," said Pavelec, who’s been the Jets goaltender for all three of their most recent wins. "It’s always hard to win, right? I just try to find a way to help the team and win as many games as I can."
Special teams getting ever less special
The Jets were once again shut out on the power play, squandering both their opportunities to extend their drought to just one goal in their last 46 power-play opportunities.
That’s bad, but perhaps almost as worrying is the play of their penalty-killing unit, which was among the league-best — 11th coming into Tuesday night — but has now surrendered four goals in the last two games.
After yielding two power-play goals on six opportunities to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, the Jets gave up two to Pavel Datsyuk on four opportunities.
After averaging 37.5 shots during their previous four games, the Jets mustered just 21 against a stifling Red Wings team that had the Jets running around their own zone most of the night.
To put that in context — the Jets bombarded the Red Wings with 47 shots in a 4-2 win at the MTS Centre Nov. 4.
"The game turned really defensive and both teams were testing each other’s patience and seeing who was going to make the first mistake," said Little, who notched his team-leading 11th goal of the season in the first period.
Kane still stymied
The Jets don’t have many natural goal scorers, but winger Evander Kane is supposed to be one of them. And yet with another 0-fer performance, Kane has now gone six games without a goal.
While he’s continuing to get lots of shots — he led the Jets with 72 shots coming into the game — most of them are of the low-quality variety and of little threat. And a high-sticking penalty by Kane late in the third period also led to the tying goal by Detroit.
Kane’s last goal came Oct. 26 in a win over Dallas.
The Jets will take their only three-game winning streak of 2013 into their game Friday night at the MTS Centre against the Philadelphia Flyers.