Jets’ perseverance pays off
Perreault the hero in overtime victory over hapless Oilers
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 03/12/2014 (2983 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Sooner or later, some hapless team is going to be the one that ends the Edmonton Oilers losing streak, a train wreck that was at 10 games and counting leading into Wednesday night’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre.
And for an uncomfortably long time Wednesday night, it was looking like the Winnipeg Jets were going to be the unfortunate team to earn that designation.
But with the Jets trailing the Oilers 2-1 late in the third period and appearing to be well on their way to a loss that was going to be as tough to explain as it would be to get over, a Winnipeg team that has surprised its doubters all season long found a way to win.
First, it was Jets forward Dustin Byfuglien setting up shop in front of the Oilers net and deflecting a point shot from defenceman Mark Stuart to tie the game 2-2 at 16:54.
Then just 17 seconds into overtime, it was Jets centre Mathieu Perreault notching the game winner, tipping in a shot from Jacob Trouba who had a piece of all three Jets goals Wednesday night.
And so with that, there was once again Joy in Joyville, as former Jets head coach Claude Noel liked to say.
The win improved Winnipeg’s home record to 5-5-1 this season and was exactly the kind of positive vibe the club was hoping to build at the MTS Centre in a month in which they play nine of 13 games at home.
And the Oilers? Well that’s just more misery. A 10-game losing streak for Edmonton is now 11 games, just three short of the franchise record for futility.
And even more depressing for hockey fans in Edmonton, the Oilers are winless against Western Conference opponents in 16 games.
Dude, where’s my goals?
The Jets came into last night’s game with the third fewest goals in the NHL, with 52 in 25 games.
That was ahead of Florida (50) and Buffalo (45) and things didn’t improve much for Winnipeg on this night as an Oilers team that has been dreadful this season on defence looked for much of the game Wednesday night like Jacques Lemaire’s New Jersey Devils in the face of an anemic Jets offence.
Even on the rare occasions when the Jets mustered good scoring chances, much-maligned Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens was sensational, stoning Byfuglien in close in the second period and then standing on his head during a particularly memorable second-period shift by the Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler line.
Just when it seemed like Jacob Trouba’s long snap shot midway through the first period was going to stand up as Winnipeg’s only goal on this night, the Jets finally got rewarded for their pressure around the Oilers net with Byfuglien’s deflection late in the third period and then Perreault’s tip-in in overtime for the game-winner.
So now what?
The Jets still have two more games to play at home — this Friday against the Colorado Avalanche and Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks — before they head out on the road next week for a couple of key road games against divisional opponents in Dallas on Tuesday and Colorado on Thursday.
A moment for Béliveau
The Jets observed a moment of silence prior to Wednesday night’s game for late Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 83.
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Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.
Updated on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 1:58 PM CST: Adds video
Updated on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 9:42 PM CST: Adds slideshow
Updated on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 10:33 PM CST: Updates headline with final score
Updated on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 11:03 PM CST: Changes photo, replaces pre-game story with CP post-gamer.
Updated on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 11:26 PM CST: Replaces CP story with local post-gamer.
Updated on Thursday, December 4, 2014 11:41 AM CST: Corrects typo