Penalties shot down the Jets, players and coach admit
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This article was published 17/04/2015 (2964 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Penalties, like they did in the first three-quarters of the regular season, reared up and bit the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.
Bad timing for them, since it was the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Anaheim Ducks clicked for two power-play goals in three chances and roared to a comeback 4-2 win in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Pacific Division first-round series.
Game 2 is Saturday at Honda Center.
The Ducks didn’t score a single power-play goal in their final seven games of the regular season. And the last time they scored two in a game was when the Jets visited on Jan. 11 in a 5-4 shootout win.
“They had a great start and we handled it real well,” said Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec after his team let slide a 2-1 lead entering the third period. “That’s what they’re good at, third periods.
“I think five-on-five we played a really good game, a solid game. We just have to be a little bit smarter with the penalties. It pretty much cost us the game. We gave those guys power plays and it’s really tough.
“But it’s the first game of the series and it’s a good hockey game. We battled really hard. We had the lead in the third and two tough breaks on the first two goals.
“Next time, I think we’ll be a little bit smarter and we’ll be fine.”
The penalties, infractions by Mark Scheifele, Ben Chiarot and Michael Frolik, were pretty costly.
“I wouldn’t say effort was the right word,” Jets winger Drew Stafford said after the game, correcting one questioner. “It was one of those things where discipline came into the equation.
“Unfortunately we gave them chances that we could have controlled by adding a little more discipline, making sure we’re playing a hard, physical game between the whistles. Anything extra after all the scrums, you have to get in there but you want to make sure you’re frustrating during the play.”
Stafford said the incidents could be considered both a relapse — the Jets were the most shorthanded team in the NHL season, but had cleaned up their act in the final 22 games — and a learning experience.
“Yeah, I think you could say both,” he said. “More of a learning experience just because it’s Game 1 and it’s not a one-game series.”
Jets coach Paul Maurice said — somewhat cryptically — that Thursday’s standard for penalties might have been a little too fluid for his liking.
“Those are the emotions you have to control,” Maurice said, referencing Scheifele’s penalty, a cuff to the head of Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler, specifically. “There were five or six other times in the game when that wasn’t a penalty and I think we were lulled into a false sense of security about what was going to be allowed and what wasn’t.”
The coach did his best to say his team will live to battle on in the games ahead.
“In some ways this loss was less devastating than some we faced three weeks ago,” he said. “We weren’t expecting this to go 16-0 or 4-0. They’re a good team and this is their first game in their building. There was enough good in our game to move on.”
Jets captain Andrew Ladd didn’t see any cause for panic after Game 1.
“I liked our first two periods,” he said. “In the third, we kind of got watching a little more and were on our heels and got in trouble there. We had some good chances to make it 3-1 in the second.
“They’re a team that’s first in the West for a reason. We know it’s going to be a long, hard series and we’ll be better in the next game.”
JETCETERA: Pavelec said after the game he had a bad feeling about the video review of what turned out to be Corey Perry’s game-winning goal at 13:21 of the third. “First of all, I didn’t know he had two chances,” Pavelec said. “He touched it twice. I wasn’t sure. I knew it was close. It was in.”