Kane's return nets instant results
COLUMBUS, Ohio — This can be filed under “instant results.”
Winnipeg Jets left-winger Evander Kane, out six games and more than two weeks with an unspecified lower-body injury, returned to the fold on Monday night and contributed an assist and the eventual game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
“It was good,” Kane said after returning to the lineup with impact. “I put on my skates, I try to help this team win and that’s just how I am. I was able to do that tonight and I want to continue to do that as much as I can.
“I felt good. I felt in shape, ready to go.”
It was Kane’s eighth goal of the season and his first multiple-point night since Oct. 13 vs. New Jersey. It was also his third-game winner of the season.
The win helped the Jets snap out of a three-game slide that saw them go 0-2-1 at home last week.
“I thought we played a solid game for most of it,” said Kane, who spent most of his time Monday with Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik. “But you have a one-goal lead going to the third, you’ve got to try to put them away. We ended up winning the game but we can’t give up two goals in the third period.
“It was a solid game and it was good to get the win but it was nothing to jump up and down about, though.”
Kane was up and down a few times during the night.
He took a shot off his left heel during the second period and had to be helped off. He returned later in the frame, then went dashing down the right wing, only to be bodied off the puck. His speed then had him sliding legs-first into the boards at some speed.
He didn’t miss much time (logging 18 minutes 46 seconds on the night) and he looked just fine when he snapped in the 3-1 goal on a three-on-one rush in the third period.
Earlier in the game, he set up Scheifele for the Jets’ first goal, a perfect feed at the crease in the second period.
“I had a feeling that D was going to go down so I tried to wait it out and find an opening for Scheifs,” he said on the rookie’s goal. “My goal, I tried to fake the D like I was going to pass, give me some more room to cut in and he did, let me cut and in and I was able to shoot and score.
“I saw a space and that’s kind of my bread and butter shot. I’d like to think I could score on that more times than I don’t.”
Jets coach Claude Noel was grateful for the contributions.
“I thought Evander looked good for a guy who’s been out a little while,” Noel said. “I thought he was good; he got banged up a bit in the game but... I’m sure he’s OK. I thought he skated pretty good and played pretty well.”
— Tim Campbell