June 15, 2019

Winnipeg
14° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Winnipeg Jets Logo

Winnipeg Jets (47 – 30 – 5)

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Late-game collapse costly

Wild score twice in 26 seconds to down Jets

Joel Eriksson Ek bangs the puck in past Dmitry Kulikov and Connor Hellebuyck to give the Wild a 3-2 lead with just over one minute left in the game. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

Joel Eriksson Ek bangs the puck in past Dmitry Kulikov and Connor Hellebuyck to give the Wild a 3-2 lead with just over one minute left in the game. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

It was the start of a tough stretch of hockey for any team, let alone one that has been struggling to find its way in recent weeks. And things quickly went from bad to worse Tuesday night as the Winnipeg Jets blew a late lead and lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild.

Up 2-1 with less than 90 seconds to play, the Jets gave up two goals in 26 seconds to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory before a stunned crowd at Bell MTS Place.

Jason Zucker scored at 18:33 on the power play, which was actually a six-on-four with the goalie pulled. And then Joel Eriksson Ek knocked in a loose puck at 18:59, which went to video review to confirm it crossed the line. Winnipeg launched a goalie interference challenge that failed, the epic collapse now complete.

“It’s hard for us right now. We spend a lot of the game, not necessarily playing well, but doing enough to keep them kind of out of the danger zones and the wheels fall off at the end,” said Jets captain Blake Wheeler.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Keep reading free:

I agree to the Terms and Conditions, Cookie and Privacy Policies, and CASL agreement.

 

Already have an account?

Log in here »

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

It was the start of a tough stretch of hockey for any team, let alone one that has been struggling to find its way in recent weeks. And things quickly went from bad to worse Tuesday night as the Winnipeg Jets blew a late lead and lost 3-2 to the Minnesota Wild.

Up 2-1 with less than 90 seconds to play, the Jets gave up two goals in 26 seconds to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory before a stunned crowd at Bell MTS Place.

Jason Zucker scored at 18:33 on the power play, which was actually a six-on-four with the goalie pulled. And then Joel Eriksson Ek knocked in a loose puck at 18:59, which went to video review to confirm it crossed the line. Winnipeg launched a goalie interference challenge that failed, the epic collapse now complete.

"It’s hard for us right now. We spend a lot of the game, not necessarily playing well, but doing enough to keep them kind of out of the danger zones and the wheels fall off at the end," said Jets captain Blake Wheeler.

Winnipeg falls to 37-22-4 and remains in second place in the Central Division. They are one point behind the Nashville Predators, who lost Tuesday night in St. Louis. The Jets have three games in hand over the Predators. And don’t look now but here come the red-hot Blues, just four points behind the slumping Jets.

Kevin Hayes made his debut for Winnipeg Tuesday, playing on the second line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)</p>

Kevin Hayes made his debut for Winnipeg Tuesday, playing on the second line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault. (John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press)

Minnesota improves to 31-27-6 and is in possession of the first Western Conference wild-card playoff spot.

Tuesday’s game was the start of nine straight for the Jets against opponents currently in a playoff spot. The Jets began the night 3-5-2 in the last 10, looking far from the Stanley Cup contender they are believed to be. You can now make that three wins in the last 11 games.

"Obviously we want to win more games. We’re capable of winning a lot of games, like we showed earlier in the season. But with this kind of defence and the way we played in the last couple minutes, we’re not going to win these games. Just try to find some more ways and hopefully learn from these mistakes we made and not make those mistakes again," said forward Patrik Laine.

The Jets had no trouble disposing of the Wild in five games during last season’s playoffs, but have now come up empty in four regular-season games this season, including a pair of third-period implosions. They’ll meet one more time in St. Paul on the final road trip of the year.

"It’s obviously not a good finish. That can’t happen," said Laine. "Obviously these divisional games are always huge. 0-4 against them this year, that’s not the way we can play."

A flurry of trade-deadline deals brought five new faces to town on Monday, including a pair who suited up against the Wild. Centre Kevin Hayes made his debut on the second line with Nikolaj Ehlers and Mathieu Perreault, while defenceman Nathan Beaulieu jumped right in on the top pair with Jacob Trouba.

Minnesota's Brad Hunt celebrates the Wild's first goal of the night, which was the team's only goal until the final 90 seconds of the game. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)</p>

Minnesota's Brad Hunt celebrates the Wild's first goal of the night, which was the team's only goal until the final 90 seconds of the game. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

"Definitely a lot of emotions out there at the beginning. I was nervous. After the first couple shifts I felt pretty good," said Hayes. "I thought we played well for 58 minutes there. It’s not the result we wanted, but we’ll get the next one."

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier, since the team is without defencemen Josh Morrissey, Dustin Byfuglien and Joe Morrow due to injuries.

The addition of Hayes allowed head coach Paul Maurice to balance ice time between four lines, which seemed to give everyone a little extra jump in their step. Games between the Jets and Wild are often tedious, tight-checking affairs without a lot of room to move, but Tuesday’s tilt was a much more wide-open affair. Both goalies had to be sharp at various points. Connor Hellebuyck faced 39 shots in the Jets’ net, while Devan Dubnyk had 32.

"We’re missing some important people back there that play huge minutes for us and play against the other team’s best, so I thought our back pressure to our D-zone coverage was pretty solid for the most part," said Maurice.

Mark Scheifele got things going for the Jets near the midway mark of the opening period, finishing off a crisp three-way passing play with Minnesota short-handed. Trouba, intercepting a poor Minnesota dump-in attempt at his own blue-line, quickly got the puck to Kyle Connor, who dropped it to Laine, who found Scheifele for his team-leading 31st of the season.

Scheifele is now just one off his career high of 32 goals, set in 2016-17.

Brad Hunt and Jason Zucker celebrate after Zucker scored late in the third period to tie the game 2-2. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

Brad Hunt and Jason Zucker celebrate after Zucker scored late in the third period to tie the game 2-2. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

Laine took an offensive-zone hooking penalty near the midway mark of the second period, giving Minnesota their first power play of the night, and defenceman Brad Hunt made them pay as his soft wrister from the point got through a ton of traffic in front of the net, surprising Hellebuyck.

But the tie didn’t last long, as defenceman Ben Chiarot made a great rush to the net, then banked a shot in off Laine’s leg just 14 seconds later to restore Winnipeg’s lead. Laine is up to 29 goals on the season, second only to Scheifele. He now has four in his last three games after going 15 games without scoring.

Hellebuyck’s biggest save of the night came on a J.T. Brown breakaway with just over 14 minutes left in the third period, which seemed like it might just preserve a big win. But then came the self-inflicted meltdown.

Myers was penalized for a reckless cross-check with just over three minutes to play, giving the Wild the pivotal power play they capitalized on. And then, still reeling from giving up the tying goal, Jonas Brodin threw a puck towards the net and Eriksson Ek managed to redirect.

"I don’t want to say we lost coverage. We were standing beside the guy but he puts the puck in the net. So we were light in front of our net," Maurice said of the winner.

Winnipeg is now 19-4-3 when leading after two periods.

The Jets are back in action Friday night when they host the Predators.

 

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @mikemcintyrewpg

Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Reporter

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 11:20 PM CST: full write-thru

11:28 PM: adds photos

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us