Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Power play back into tank after brief spark

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PHILADELPHIA -- Mired in the bottom three of the NHL rankings, the Winnipeg Jets' power play was blanked again Friday.

For the 19th time in 28 games.

That's what you call a liability.

Friday in the 2-1 loss to the Flyers, the Jets went zero for six in 11 minutes 16 seconds of advantage time.

So while yes, the Jets could blame their defeat on a terrible start on Friday -- they were outplayed completely for at least 20-plus minutes to start -- their power play could have saved them.

"It's intensity, executing," said winger Devin Setoguchi. "And if the battle level isn't there on the power play, it's not going to work."

No argument from head coach Claude Noel.

"Our power play was disappointing," Noel said, revealing a little frustration on this day. "We can't get anything out of it and haven't been able to through the year. It's not like it's anything new for us. Finding solutions to that issue and problem is certainly a challenge for us.

"After a while, you have what you have and you just have to try to find the right combination. And we haven't found that, that's obvious."

Worse, the Jets gave up their sixth short-handed goal of the year when Flyer Sean Couturier burned their power play early in the second period.

That turned out to be the winner.

And that was a shame considering the very good work Winnipeg's penalty-killing unit did on Friday. It blanked the Flyers on all four chances, putting an end to Philly's eight-game streak with at least one power-play goal.

 

-- -- --

Jets left-winger Evander Kane had to leave the game early in the second period and did not return.

Kane took a stiff check from Philadelphia defenceman Braydon Coburn. The team said it's a lower-body injury.

Kane tried to shake it off, skating briefly during one stoppage of play, but then left the game.

There was no word Friday on his future availability.

-- -- --

In Kane's absence, Noel was forced to juggle lines for the rest of the game, but he mostly left the Mark Scheifele-Michael Frolik-Matt Halischuk line intact and Frolik produced the Jets' only goal with 7:07 to play.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2013 C2

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