The Ottawa Senators snapped the Winnipeg Jets' win streak at three, extending a streak of their own to that same number. Al Montoya suffered the loss, just his first in his last seven decisions.
Ottawa opened the scoring at 13:34 on a goal by Mika Zibanejad, getting his 10th off a scramble at the side of the Jets net.
But 2:03 later the Jets tied the game with a Dustin Byfuglien shot going off an Ottawa player and in. Anthony Peluso and James Wright had the assists. Peluso for the first time in his career has points in back to back games.
The Senators regained the lead in the final minute of the first with Milan Michalek getting his seventh. The Jets outshot the Sens 13-10 in the period.
Evander Kane got the Jets even at 1:32 of the second, scoring from the goal line after Craig Anderson made a great save on Jacob Trouba, coming on a great rush by the 19-year-old defenceman. Michael Frolik grabbed the other assist. It was Kane's fifth goal in nine games since returning from injury, while the assist for Trouba extended his point streak to four (1-3-4) and gives him 10 points in his last 15 games.
The Jets had a great chance to take the lead on a great move in tight by Peluso, only to have the chip shot at the open net hit the cross bar. Shots in the second were even at 10-10.
In a wild third period, the Jets again a great chance to take the lead, but a Chris Thorburn shot went off the post.
Only seconds later Montoya stopped Cory Conacher on a breakaway, but off of the ensuing face-off, Zach Smith scored his fourth in six games to give Ottawa the lead.
Clarke MacArthur made it a two-goal game as the Jets turned it over in their own end, but Olli Jokinen, with his 10th, again got the Jets to within one when he converted a pass from Byfuglien. Toby Enstrom also drew an assist on the goal.
But that was as close as the Jets would get as the Senators hung on for the victory. The Jets outshot the Sens 12-9 in the third and 35-29 in the game.
The line of Mark Scheifele with Kane and Frolik was the Jets' best line, combining for 12 shots on goal with five each from Scheifele and Kane. The Bryan Little-Andrew Ladd-Blake Wheeler line, on the other hand, was held in check with Little the only member of the unit to get a shot on goal.
Of the 35 shots, the Jets got 19 from defencemen. Mark Stuart had four shots on goal, seven hits and five blocked shots. Enstrom led in ice time at 24:07. For the first time this season the Jets did not have a power play.
“It was a sloppy start to the game for us,” stated Jokinen post-game. “The goal late in the first period, we can't let them score there. Then it's 2-2, Thorbs hits the post and, 10 seconds later, they score. We did not play as well as we have been lately.”
Claude Noel felt mistakes hurt his team but they still had plenty of chances to win the game.
“We played too much sideways in our zone," said the Jets coach. "We hit the post, don't get the shot through from the point, lose a face off in our zone, seeing-eye shot and we're down. We played a decent game but gave them too much. We had a lot of chances, even short-handed, where we never got a shot. We didn't get a lot of production from all of our lines. Disappointing for me that in the whole game we never got a power play. Hard to believe.”
The Jets were to fly to Boston after the game, but the snow storm in the Boston area changed that. The Jets will now practice in Ottawa on Friday.
The Jets have a pair of afternoon games on the weekend, in Boston on Saturday and then in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Both games are available on TSN Jets and TSN Radio 1290 Winnipeg.