Sluggish, defence-deficient Jets fall to hot Stars
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/11/2015 (2571 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
DALLAS — They vowed to be quicker. They vowed to be more disciplined. They vowed to play better defensively. They did precisely none of those things.
It was more of the same-old out of the Winnipeg Jets here Thursday night as a slumping Jets squad continued to do none of the things that made them successful last month — and all the things that have them riding a four-game losing streak this month — in a 6-3 loss to the Dallas Stars.
The odd-man rushes and breakaways that led to a 5-3 Jets loss in Minnesota two nights earlier were once again prominently on display against the Stars here Thursday night — and once again they cost the Jets on the scoreboard.
Stars forward Ales Hemsky was on the receiving end of two breakaways in the second period — the third and fourth breakaways the Jets have given up in two games — and Hemsky converted the first one into the third goal of the game for the Stars.
But as bad as the defensive lapses were — again — for the Jets on this night, it was the penalties that killed Winnipeg in a game in which they were playing the second-best power play in the league.
Two of the Stars’ four goals came on the power play, including the game-winner. With the game tied 3-3 and Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien in the penalty box for holding Stars forward — and native Winnipegger — Cody Eakin, NHL leading scorer Jamie Benn converted a rebound past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec to put Dallas ahead for good with under six minutes to play.
Dallas added a pair of empty-net goals to pile insult on the injury.
About That First Period: For an eye-popping 13th time in 17 games, the Jets gave up the first goal of the game, falling behind 1-0 just 2:32 into the game when Dallas defenceman John Klingberg’s point shot deflected off Jets forward Alex Burmistrov and past Pavelec.
But the lead was short-lived as the Jets stormed back less than two minutes later with a pair of goals just 18 seconds apart. The first one, by Blake Wheeler, came from an impossible angle and was emblematic of how well things are going right now for the Jets’ leading points-getter.
Defenceman Jacob Trouba then picked up his first goal of the season moments later, cashing in a loose puck as the trailer on a rush by Jets forwards Adam Lowry and his new linemate, Chris Thorburn. The pair picked up assists on the play, which snapped an eight-game pointless string for Lowry.
But not to be outdone, the Stars tied the game at 12:38 of the first when Colton Sceviour slammed home a rebound after a Dallas point shot rattled the crossbar moments earlier.
Add it all up, and the two teams exchanged 28 shots (12 for the Jets and 16 for the Stars) in a track meet of a first period both coaches would just as soon forget.
So Now What? The Jets are now halfway through this four-game road trip through the Central Division, and to say it’s gone badly would be beyond obvious. The Jets have now lost five of their last six games, and there’s no relief in sight, with another two tough Central Division tests in their immediate future.
Part 2 of this trip begins Saturday night in Nashville against a Predators team that has been beaten in regulation just twice in their last 10 games.
And then from there, the Jets finish up this litmus test Monday night in St. Louis against a Blues team that lost for the first time in four games Thursday.
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 Thursday, November 12, 2015 8:46 AM CST: Fixes headline
Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 12:33 PM CST: Adds live-coverage box
Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 5:34 PM CST: Adds photo
Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 9:17 PM CST: Period update
Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 10:14 PM CST: period update
Updated on Thursday, November 12, 2015 11:17 PM CST: Evening write-through