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When dinner is burned, it’s burned.
With the pans in the sink and the water flowing to douse the flames, the Jets made a complete mess of Friday evening in just 10 minutes and four seconds.
That’s how long the Carolina Hurricanes needed to make an official flambé of the Jets’ plans for the game, establishing a 4-0 lead at the MTS Centre.
It was enough to nurse home a 5-3 victory over the struggling Jets.
The larger picture was that it was just another mess to add to the disappointing stretch at home. In the nine of 10 at home since Jan. 10, Winnipeg went 3-7-0 to fall well off the Western Conference playoff line, and one of those wins was in the lone road game of the string, Jan. 15 in Minnesota.
With Calgary losing to Columbus late Friday, the Jets are tied for last overall in the NHL with their 47 points.
The Canes, with the win, are 8-3-1 in their last 12 and continue to be relevant in the Eastern Conference playoff race, now just two points away from the playoff line.
The Jets started building some momentum in the second period and eventually found the board with a swarm goal by Alex Burmistrov.
Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien added markers in the third and the Canes were badly on their heels in a 4-3 game with 6:12 to play.
The pressing Jets, however, got caught eventually and Andrej Nestrasil tucked in a two-on-one goal with 1:20 left to relieve the pressure and salt the win.
With Carolina firing three goals on its first six shots, Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck, in his 12th straight start, was gone after just 4:33.
In came Michael Hutchinson, who hasn’t played since Jan. 3 in Anaheim, and he was greeted with another Carolina goal by Justin Faulk.
Hutchinson battled after that, giving the Jets a fighting chance to get going.
"You can’t fault Helly on any of those goals," Hutchinson said. "A couple of bad bounces. I think (the hook) was just to change the momentum.
"It was nice to get back in. You never want to go in under those circumstances. Everyone wants to play every single night and when you’re not playing, it’s a little tough. You kind of have to make your practices your games, find ways to have fun during practice.
"It was a bit of a mental battle but I think I handled it pretty well."
The Jets’ awful start Friday was as inexplicable — for a team fighting for its season — as it was badly timed.
"They were a lot quicker than us on pucks," Ladd said. "I’m going to have to watch the game to see exactly what happened, but they were obviously better than us at the start and we had to try to chip away at it.
"We got it to 4-3 and were feeling pretty good about it. We got our legs going and we got moving."
The Jets continue to have a hard time getting away from their reputation for taking penalties.
In the first 40 minutes, the tally was Winnipeg, four infractions; Hurricanes, benefit of the doubt every time.
The Jets got two third-period power plays on obvious calls. The calls and non-calls had no bearing on the outcome, based on the Jets’ sad opening period.
When they came home from their early January road trip, the Jets had played the most road games in the NHL and had the biggest discrepancy between road and home.
Then, nine of the next 10 were at the MTS Centre (3-7-0) to start making up the deficit, but now it will go into effect again, with eight of the next 10 away from home, starting tonight in Denver.
The team has just one more back-to-back this season, in early March, when the Jets play a pair of games at the MTS Centre on consecutive nights.
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