Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Spotlighted: 31 Ondrej Pavelec

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HIS NUMBERS:

Minutes: 60; shots: 27; saves: 24; Save percentage .889; GAA: 2.99

 

First period:

Pavelec makes his ninth consecutive start for the Jets and if there were any concerns whatsoever about fatigue, the Hurricanes sure did him a favour in the opening 20 minutes by not registering a shot until the game was almost eight minutes old. In fact, the Canes managed just three attempts at Pavelec in the first 20 minutes and the Jet netminder might have requested a shot of caffeine in the intermission just to jolt himself awake.

Second period:

Pavelec may have barely broken a sweat in the first, but within the first six minutes of the second he earns two standing ovations and the building is chanting 'Pav-vy! Pav-vy!' after a series of sensational saves, including a couple that will soon be featured on weekly highlight shows all over the NHL map. Among his victims: Eric Staal, Justin Faulk twice on the power play and Chad Larose. The Canes do beat him once with a superb goal by Tuomo Ruutu, who cuts the Jets' lead to 2-1 with his first goal of the season.

Third period/overtime:

The Jets try to protect a two-goal lead by backing up in the final 10 minutes or so and pay dearly for it as Pavelec is beaten on a tip by Ruutu and then by Alex Semin with less than two minutes remaining. But his solid effort is saved in OT by Dustin Byfuglien's effort.

 

WHAT WE LIKED:

Pavelec is a gamer, a guy who can give up three-four-five goals and still make the critical save at critical times to keep his team in a game. He was all of that and then some against Carolina.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE:

Look, this game doesn't get to OT if Pavelec isn't simply brilliant in the second period. No criticisms whatsoever and it says something of the Jets' collective defensive work, spotty at times, that a man who surrenders three goals on 27 shots is the best player on the ice.

SYNOPSIS:

It was earlier on Thursday after the Jets' game-day skate when Claude Noel praised Pavelec for his ability to make the big saves at monumental times. We've seen that movie a lot here down the stretch for the Jets, but perhaps never more so than Thursday night.

-- Ed Tait

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 19, 2013 C3

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