The Winnipeg Jets opened the second half of their NHL Preseason schedule in St. Paul, Minnesota falling 4-3 in a shootout to the Wild.
Head Coach Claude Noel told TSN 1290 following the game there were a lot of positives to take seeing they trailed at one point 2-0 in the first period.
“Overall in the game I thought we were a lot better. From effort, to team play I thought we defended a lot better. We didn't panic when we were down, the players knew there was lots of time in the game and just did what they needed to do to make it a game”.
Brandon product Carson McMillan and Charlie Coyle had the opening goals for the Wild, who outshot the Jets 13-8.
Power play goals by Eric O'Dell and Paul Postma, plus an even strength goal from Patrice Cormier was the offense needed in the second period to give Winnipeg a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.
Ryan Suter had the lone goal of the final period.
Jason Pominville scored the only goal in the shootout, which dropped the Jets' record to 1-2-2 in the preseason. The Wild have now won back to back games after losing their preseason opener to Columbus.
Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom faced 31 shots, and was perfect on three attempts in the shootout, while Ondrej Pavelec made 33 of 36 saves.
Coach Noel had high praise for Pavelec as well. “Minnesota really comes to the net hard and he had to battle to find pucks. I thought he played a strong game and showed some quickness”.
Winnipeg was 2-for-4 on the power play, while Minnesota went 0-for-3.
Suter led all players in the game with 28:43 of ice time. Rookie Jacob Trouba paced the Jets with 25:41. Trouba had one assist, was minus-1, had two shots on goal, three hits and one blocked shot.
Dustin Byfuglien played 25:39, and had a team high six shots on goal.
Minnesota won 68 per cent of the face offs, thanks to Coyle winning 12 of 15 and Mikko Koivu going 17-5.
Next action is Monday night from Rexall Place in Edmonton with an 8:30pm ct/7:30pm et start against the Oilers on TSN 1290 and TSN Jets.