After a good start in Nashville the Winnipeg Jets looked for more of that in Dallas, in game two of a four game road trip.
The Jets outshot Dallas 14-8 in the first and did create some very good scoring chances, but were not able to be Kari Lehtonen. The only downside for the Jets, other than not scoring on those Grade “A” chances, was the face-off circle, where the Jets were badly outdrawn by Dallas.
Each team had a power play in the scoreless opening 20 minutes. Devin Setoguchi who scored his first ever NHL goal in Dallas and has nine goals in 16 career games in Dallas had two opportunities but was foiled by Lehtonen.
Ondrej Pavelec with his sixth straight start was solid in the first, his best save on a partial breakaway by Ray Whitney. A banged up Evander Kane was questionable going into the game, but did play leaving the Jets line combinations as they were in Nashville, although as we have seen quite often Coach Claude Noel did a bit of juggling from time to time.
Kane opened the scoring 3:28 into the second period banging home a rebound of a Dustin Byfuglien shot. It was Kane's team-leading sixth of the year and his first road point. Kane has now opened the scoring twice this season. It was only the third time in 12 games the Jets scored first.
The Jets started the third with another great chance. It was a two-on-one with Andrew Ladd feeding Bryan Little only to have Little's shot hit the post. The Stars tied the game at 6:36 on a shot from the point by Stephane Robidas and the goal injected some energy into the Stars bench as they fired 16 shots on Pavelec in the third. The Jets were nailed for too many men on the ice at 19:34 of the third and Pavelec sent the game to overtime with a terrific point blank pad save off Jamie Benn in the final seconds of regulation. It marked the fourth time in five games the Jets went to extra time.
The overtime period produced several chances, including a couple of short-handed opportunities by the Jets. Once back to full strength the Jets had the better chances outshooting Dallas 6-2 in the five minute overtime.
The shootout was as follows: Benn (miss), Olli Jokinen (miss), Alex Chaisson (miss), Ladd (goal), Ray Whitney (miss). Ladd is now a perfect 3-for-3 in shootouts this season. The Jets are now 2-1 in the shootout this season.
With the win the Jets have now picked up points in five of their last seven games, with a record of 3-2-2 for eight of a possible 14 points. They are now 2-1-1 on the road and 5-5-2 on the season. Each of the four road games has been decided by one goal. Pavelec now has the franchise lead in wins with 95, one ahead of Lehtonen, an Atlanta pick in 2002.
Winnipeg went 0-for-2 on the power play and were a perfect 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. Setoguchi lead the Jets in shots on goal with six with Byfuglien leading the way in ice time with 28:52, followed by Zach Bogosian at 25:02.
Coach Noel again liked a lot of what his team did.
“We started well,” he told TSN. “It was a good road game for us. The penalty kill at the end was huge and Pavelec was superb. We controlled their top line.”
“Disappointed how their goal happened but we bounced back,” Noel would add. “The extra point was huge because it would have been three straight games to lose the point. I liked the effort of our group. The Wright line was good, Setoguchi was and Jokinen were good, but Pavelec was our best guy.”
The Jets play in Colorado Sunday with Al Montoya expected to start. That game can be caught live on TSN Jets and TSN Radio 1290 starting at 7pm ct.
The Avs are 9-1 on the season and perhaps the surprise of the NHL. The game against the Avs will be Jokinen's 1100th NHL game, James Wright's 100th NHL game.