Jets first to blink in staredown
Go toe-to-toe with Ducks, but done in by one slip-up
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/12/2014 (2981 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
It’s one thing to climb into the ring with bottom feeders already in the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel draft sweepstakes. It’s quite another to trade blows with a legit Stanley Cup contender.
So as the Winnipeg Jets ended a three-game homestand with a 4-3 overtime loss to the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks — giving them five of a possible six points this week at the MTS Centre — the dressing room had a considerably different vibe than after the recent wins over stumbling, bumbling outfits such as Columbus, Buffalo or Edmonton.
It was a tiny sense of disappointment in losing a point, mixed with a healthy dose of accomplishment in rallying late to grab a point against a squad that has the best record in the NHL since the start of the 2013-14 season.
“They’re one of the better teams in this league and we battled hard,” said Jets centre Mathieu Perreault, who spent last season with the Ducks. “I thought we had good chances, we had pucks on the net, we were driving and had a few rebounds. We couldn’t get that extra goal, but overall I thought it was a pretty good effort from our side.
“You can’t get satisfied with just one point. But this is a big point for us. Another late goal to tie the game shows the character we have. We battled the whole game and found a way to take it to overtime.”
Some numbers worth noting:
— THE Jets are 4-0-2 in their last six; 5-2-2 in their last nine at home and 13-5-5 since opening the season at 1-4.
“It was just a great game,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice. “Lots of big chances, great pace, both teams competed on every puck, both team’s power plays were good, they got good saves from their goaltenders, lots of energy… disappointing result, but a very well-played game.
“You got to know how you play, and play as hard as you can. You don’t walk away from that one worrying about the what-ifs.”
A tale of two PPs
BOTH the Jets and Ducks finished the matinee two-for-six on the power play, the home side getting man-advantage goals from Dustin Byfuglien — his fourth goal in as many games — and Andrew Ladd. Anaheim’s came courtesy Rene Bourque and Ryan Kesler.
“It was big for both sides tonight,” said Ladd of the power play. “I thought we were snapping it around pretty good, getting pucks to the net and creating some pretty good opportunities. It’s been pretty good for us lately and we need to keep it going.”
Interestingly, since implementing their “umbrella” look on the power play on their last road trip, the Jets are six-for-21 with the man advantage. That’s a 28.6 per cent clip. In the 22 games prior they were a measly six-for-71 on the power play. That’s an anemic 8.5 per cent clip.
“It’s getting better,” said Perreault, who drew an assist on Byfuglien’s marker. “We’ve been talking so much about it, we’ve been working on it a lot and it’s finally started going in for us. We did some good things and want to keep working on it.”
Late dramatics/extra fun
TRAILING 3-2 heading into the third, the Jets had two power plays in the first 10 minutes of the final frame to get the equalizer, but whiffed. That set up some late Jacob Trouba magic, when the sophomore defenceman drove to the net to beat Frederik Andersen with just 4:45 remaining.
Kyle Palmieri played the hero for the Ducks, finding room over Ondrej Pavelec’s shoulder from an acute angle just 53 seconds into OT.
“That’s a characteristic we want to have: (Be) a tough team to play against, especially late,” said Trouba. “When you’re down a goal in the third period you want to come back and storm as hard as you can and put it all out there. We did a good job of that. It was a hard-fought game and both teams played really well. You’ve got to take the positives out of it.”
THE Jets practise in Winnipeg today before heading to Dallas and Colorado this week for two Central Division contests. Five of the Jets’ next nine games are against teams in their own division.
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Updated on Monday, December 8, 2014 6:18 AM CST: Replaces photo