Winnipeg Jets 3 Philadelphia Flyers 2 (Shootout) – Andrew Ladd saw his shootout hot streak come to an end, but luckily for the Jets Ondrej Pavelec kept his going as the Jets went to a shootout for the third straight game.
Perhaps the biggest news of the game; the Jets scored both goals on the power play, the first time this season they scored two in a game. The Jets were in a power play slump with one goal in the last 15 games.
"The power play was a big plus," said Coach Claude Noel post-game. "We really didn't do anything different, just hit the net and they went in. It was only a matter of time."
Jets have now won five of the last six games (last three by shootouts), extended their home winning streak and overall winning streak to four games and are back to a game above .500 at 10-9-2. They are 7-5-1 at MTS Centre.
Jets came out strong and badly outshot the Flyers in the first five minutes, however Steve Mason was great in the Flyers goal. The Jets got on the board at 5:36 as Dustin Byfuglien beat Mason for his second of the year and first power play goal of the season. 49 seconds later off a face-off Scott Hartnell took the puck around the Jets net and banked one in off Pavelec to tie the game. Wayne Simmonds added a Flyers power play goal at 11:45 and despite the good start the Jets were down 2-1. The shots ended 13-13.
There was no scoring in the second with each team having nine shots on goal. "We had some breakout trouble in the second," continued Coach Noel.
The Jets were very good in the third and finally tied the game on a power play. It was Byfuglien's second of the game and third of the year as the Jets power play ended the night two-for-four. A great job by Toby Enstrom to keep a clearing attempt in the Flyers zone, good hustle by Byfuglien to get to an Evander Kane pass, and then a give and go with Olli Jokinen ended with a blast from the line that beat the right handed catching Mason glove side.
Jets outshot the Flyers 13-4 in the third and played the period without Zach Bogosian who left late in the second with a lower body injury. His status for Sunday's game in Minnesota is not known at this time. "We were down to 5 D in the third," continued Coach Noel, "but we were patient and confident that we could score and get the game to overtime. We weren't getting out of whack on momentum shifts."
Pavelec also felt his team was very good in the third. "It was one of the best periods we've played this season."
The Flyers had the better chances in overtime, resulting in Pavelec having to make a number of very good saves. "Pav's play has been superb," was the comment from Coach Noel. "He was good in overtime, he was tested at key times throughout the game."
The shootout went as follows: Devin Setoguchi yes, Vincent Lecavalier no, Ladd no, Claude Giroux yes, Jokinen no, Matt Read no, Blake Wheeler no, Brayden Schenn no, Bryan Little yes, Kimmo Timonen no. Pavelec has now stopped 12 of 14 over the last four shootouts, all wins by the Jets. Jets are now 5-1 on the season in the shootout. Ladd's streak of successful shootouts ended at seven for seven going back to last year. He had been five-for-five this season.
Olli Jokenin had five shots on goal, the second time in the last three games he has hit that mark. Jokinen had two assists on the night, giving him 3-9-12 and two points short of his 7-7-14 point season of last year. Ladd also had five shots on goal, Byfuglien ended the night at 31:29 of ice time, the fifth time in his career he has played over 30 minutes. Coach Noel on Byfuglien, "he's enjoys playing the game, he plays with passion."
Wheeler had six hits, Little was 60 % in the face-off department winning 15 of 25, while Jokinen won 15 of 27 for a 56% success rate.
If Bogosian can't go Sunday Zach Redmond will draw in. Mark Stuart, injured in October, did skate with his teammates in the morning skate, the first time he has done that since late October. There is no time frame for his return.
Same goes for the other injured players.
Jets have now scored the game's opening goal in five of the last seven games.
It's three in four nights for the Jets with the game Sunday in Minnesota (TSN Jets, TSN 1290) and home Monday to Calgary. The home stand continues Thursday against Chicago and Saturday against Minnesota (all TSN Jets, TSN 1290).