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Beyak: Second period sees undoing of Jets vs. Jackets

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Dennis Beyak, TSN.ca
1/12/2014 12:48:10 AM
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With Saturday night's loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Winnipeg Jets have now dropped five straight, the team's longest stretch this season without a win.

The Jets had a good first period taking a 1-0 lead to the dressing room with Eric O'Dell scoring his first NHL goal. A Keaton Ellerby shot from the point came off the back boards into the crease area where goaltender Curtis McElhinny had trouble controlling it, allowing O'Dell to jam it home. Adam Pardy also picked up an assist.

The Jets had a goal disallowed as it was deflected in with a stick above the cross bar, and also had Bryan Little hit the cross bar on a clean chance. The shots through one were 7-6 Jets.

The second period started with Brandon Dubinsky taking a holding penalty behind the Jets net, sending the Jets to their third power play of the night, and that is where it all started to go south for the Jets.

A shorthanded goal by Mark Letestu tied the game, it was the sixth power play goal against the Jets have allowed this season. The goal came 36 seconds into the period, nine seconds after the penalty. At 4:15 Cam Atkinson made it 2-1, 8:26 Nick Foligno made it 3-1, and at 9:07 Boone Jenner scored on a penalty shot to make it 4-1, beating Ondrej Pavelec low blocker.

Toby Enstrom at 11:55 with his fifth of the year made it 4-2, the assist to Little. Shots in the second were an even 12-12.

The Jets started the third with urgency and created a number of chances but Jenner's second of the night from right in front made it 5-2. The Jets again cut into the lead with Little scoring his 15th, snapping an 11-game goalless drought. It was a power play goal with Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien picking up the assists. The Jets have now scored 23 power play goals on the season, Byfuglien has scored five and assisted on 12 others. Byfuglien has six points in his last five games. Any chance of a comeback ended with Letestu scoring his second of the game at 11:14. Final shots were 31-26 Jets.

Byfuglien played 17:31 on the right wide with Ladd and Little, had two shots on goal and three hits. Jacob Trouba led the way in ice time with 22:29, Enstrom led the way in shots with five.

The frustration was evident everywhere at the MTS Centre, from the bench, to the dressing room, to the fans, to Coach Claude Noel's post-game news conference.

"That was a tough one," Noel told TSN. "I thought in the first we played with some energy. We accomplished what we tried to do."

"Even at 1-1 we had opportunities but missed some great chances. That would have really helped us, but the game certainly unraveled in the second period on mistakes that were stuff that I've never seen before. Some of the stuff we saw was a little wild, some of the breakdowns we've never done this stuff all year."

The game ended a stretch of six straight against Eastern Conference teams. It was the Blue Jackets' first regular season game in Winnipeg, leaving Vancouver as the last NHL team yet to play at MTS Centre.

The Phoenix Coyotes will be the visitors Monday as the Jets end a three game home stand (TSN Jets, TSN 1290).

Blake Wheeler (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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