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Slumpbusters answer call in New Jersey

Scheifele, Kane, Setoguchi finally find scoring touch

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec celebrates with teammate Evander Kane after the Jets defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1in Newark, N.J., Monday.
New Jersey Devils' Mark Fayne (7) checks Winnipeg Jets' Devin Setoguchi during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler takes a shot as New Jersey Devils' Mark Fayne attempts to get a stick on it during the first period.
New Jersey Devils' Andy Greene (6) checks Winnipeg Jets' Matt Halischuk into Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during the first period.
New Jersey Devils defenceman Andy Greene checks Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates his first-period goal with teammates Matt Halischuk and Michael Frolik.
New Jersey Devils' Eric Gelinas (22) collides with linesman Jay Sharrers after checking Winnipeg Jets forward Chris Thorburn into the boards during the third period.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec makes a save during the third period.
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi goes down after getting hit with the puck in front of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and defenceman Marek Zidlicky during the third period.
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien checks New Jersey Devils forward Steve Bernier during the second period.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec makes a save during the third period of an NHL game against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J., Monday.
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec celebrates with teammate Evander Kane after the Jets defeated the New Jersey Devils 3-1in Newark, N.J., Monday. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Jersey Devils' Mark Fayne (7) checks Winnipeg Jets' Devin Setoguchi during the first period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler takes a shot as New Jersey Devils' Mark Fayne attempts to get a stick on it during the first period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Jersey Devils' Andy Greene (6) checks Winnipeg Jets' Matt Halischuk into Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur during the first period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Jersey Devils defenceman Andy Greene checks Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane during the first period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates his first-period goal with teammates Matt Halischuk and Michael Frolik. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
New Jersey Devils' Eric Gelinas (22) collides with linesman Jay Sharrers after checking Winnipeg Jets forward Chris Thorburn into the boards during the third period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec makes a save during the third period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets forward Devin Setoguchi goes down after getting hit with the puck in front of New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur and defenceman Marek Zidlicky during the third period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien checks New Jersey Devils forward Steve Bernier during the second period. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec makes a save during the third period of an NHL game against the New Jersey Devils in Newark, N.J., Monday. - BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWARK, N.J. -- The slumpbusters came to play Monday night at Prudential Center.

Mark Scheifele scored for the first time since opening night, Evander Kane scored for the first time in 30 days, Devin Setoguchi for the first time in eight games and the Winnipeg Jets snapped a four-game losing skid with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates his first goal in weeks with linemates Matt Halischuk and Michael Frolik.

BILL KOSTROUN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates his first goal in weeks with linemates Matt Halischuk and Michael Frolik.

"We hung onto the lead and I think that was a good win for our group, to play with the lead and come out on top," said Kane, who snapped out of an 11-game scoring drought.

His seventh of the season held up as the winner, giving the Jets a 2-0 lead in the 28th minute.

Scheifele had scored in the first period, beating Devils goalie Marty Brodeur over the catching glove, and Setoguchi iced it with an empty-netter with 27.1 seconds to play.

After an 0-2-2 slide followed their four-game winning streak, the Jets are once again back at .500 with a record of 11-11-4. Of those four losses, three were tight games in the late going that got away.

But in this one, even after New Jersey's Patrik Elias tipped in a goal to cut the lead to 2-1 with 9:16 to go, the Jets didn't go all fire-drill, though they had some nervous moments.

"(At 2-1), then you expect bad things to happen," Jets coach Claude Noel said, citing the difficulties of the recent past. "I thought we remained composed."

 

Do anything

The sacrifices are usually as important as the goals.

"There's a price to pay to win games and tonight I think we paid the price," Noel said.

It included 14 blocked shots in the game, a major assistance for goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who was scoring his 100th career NHL win.

"The sacrifices are part of it but I don't think it's necessarily the way you'd want to manage the game," Noel said of being under pressure in the third. "But that's the way it goes. They're going to press.

"I thought we were resilient in holding our position."

 

'Buster No. 1

Scheifele put the Jets ahead to stay but wasn't celebrating anything but a win after the game.

"The biggest thing that was on my mind was that we got the win," the rookie said "But I'm definitely happy."

But those 24 games in between with no goals?

"I think it was a matter I wasn't focusing on scoring as much," he said. "I was thinking about playing good D, thinking about what I could do to help the team."

And it'll make no difference in the games ahead, he insisted.

"I think it's the same," Scheifele said. "I didn't lose any confidence. I kept on playing the same way, kept on learning."

 

'Buster No. 2

After a video review was inconclusive on a good chance he had in the second period. Kane whipped in a won faceoff two seconds later.

His answers after the game were just about as quick. "It means I got a goal and hopefully I can keep on going and scoring," he said about ending the slump.

What did the team do better to win this close one? "We stuck to what made us successful and continued to play strong through three periods for the most part."

And how much help were the shot blocks? (He had one himself.)

"That's something we're going to have to continue to do if we're going to win," the left-winger said.

 

Good start

The five games remaining on this road trip are an opportunity. So far, the Jets are 5-1-1 versus the East, their old neighbourhood, but it's doubly important, because Winnipeg has some catching up to do in this department.

Now at 10 road games (4-5-1), the Jets have played among the fewest times away from home. The league-low to date is nine.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 26, 2013 D1

History

Updated on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:57 AM CST: Replaces photo, adds slideshow

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