Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Antti climactic night for Mittens

Miettinen scores first goals as Jet

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It was a night in which Antti Miettinen might very well have remembered when his career was finished and he spun tales with a grandkid bouncing on his knee.

Instead, the Winnipeg Jets winger's first two goals of the season will be forgotten in a third-period meltdown that stings in the team's race toward a playoff spot.

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"It's pretty irrelevant right now," began the veteran Finn. "How I feel is in the background because this is a really, really tough loss."

Oh, for what could have been...

Snake-bitten for 34 games this season after being acquired on waivers on Dec. 13th, Miettinen scored his first and second goals of the campaign in a span of eight minutes and 25 seconds of the middle frame as the Jets rallied from a 2-1 deficit to take a 3-2 lead into the third.

Miettinen even heard the fans chant his name and received a couple of standing ovations for his handiwork.

But the moment was shortlived and in a quiet Jet dressing room afterward he summed up his performance with a big-picture take.

"Certainly scoring isn't going to hurt me going forward as an individual, to get a little feeling of doing something good," said Miettinen. "But after a game like this you don't really feel it, you don't want to think about it.

"I kept working and tried to prepare myself. We need every guy and if every guy is trying to put the team effort in then we'll have a chance to make the playoffs. But if there are guys not doing it, it's probably not going to happen.

"I don't want to be the guy that's not doing things right."

JORDAN'S BETTER? THINK AGAIN: Jet fans, borrowing from their 'Crosby's Better' chant at Alex Ovechkin Friday night, serenaded Carolina captain Eric Staal with a similar refrain: 'Jordan's better' -- a reference to his brother, a member of the Pittbsurgh Penguins.

Trouble is, Staal was the best player on the ice Sunday night, scoring twice and setting up Chad LaRose for the game winner with just 1:22 left in the game.

"That was fun," Staal said afterward. "I mean, Jordan's good, but I don't know if he's better. It was fun to hear that and it was fun to score a few and get an apple (assist) on the game winner.

"I think they probably regret the chants they were making as the game went on... they started to hesitate, we stuck with it and were rewarded with a good win."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 19, 2012 C2

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