The New Jersey Devils completed a four-game road trip with a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets and now start a six game home stand Tuesday against the Jets.
The Jets have now lost three in a row and head out for two games, in Ottawa Monday before the game in New Jersey. Both games are available on TSN Jets and TSN 1290.
Andrew Ladd, with his 15th of the year and fourth in seven games, gave the Jets a 1-0 lead - the goal coming late in the first. The Jets, already short on the back end because of injuries, lost their best offensive player in the second. Blake Wheeler with 25 points in his last 25 games, and having a strong game, took a puck to the throat area and did not return. In his post-game conference, coach Claude Noel said Wheeler had been taken to hospital to get checked out.
Without Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien trying to protect the one-goal lead would be a challenge. But the Jets were having a very good night in the face-off department, plus Ondre Pavelec was playing well and it stayed 1-0 well into the third. But give the Devils credit, they kept at it and off a face-off Kurtis Foster scored his second of the season and first as a Devil to tie the game. That came at 9:45 and at 12:43, Patrick Elias extended his point streak to five with what turned out to be the game winner. Elias was awarded a penalty shot with 1:36 left but was stopped by Pavelec, and for the second time in the game a Pavelec saved brought the crowd to its feet. The Jets swarmed the Devils net in the final minute but could not beat Martin Brodeur.
Jim Slater won 16-of-21 face-offs, Bryan Little 10-of-15 and Nik Antropov 8-of-12. Ron Hainsey led the ice time at 24:15. The Jets have been outscored 12-1 in the third period in the last six games, a stretch were they are 1-5.
Offense has been tough to come by for a number of players. After starting the year with nine points in the first nine games, Alexander Burmistrov has eight points since. Antropov again had some chances but has not scored in 11, Kyle Wellwood had not scored in 12. He too created some offense in the game but the Jets have only scored nine in the past six games and have been shut out twice.
"We didn't capitalize on our chances, but we played a pretty good game," added coach Noel. "Not sure what we would do differently other than score more. Our guys played hard, battled hard, disappointed in the result, but be played with some will. I am not going to beat up my team after this game. We played with a purpose, played for each other. We will take this effort on the road and carry on. We wanted to be proud of our effort and we are."
Mark Flood came down with the flu Friday as the bug is making its way through the dressing room. So Paul Postma was recalled from St. John's, but Flood was okay to go. He played 18:28, coming off the San Jose game where he played a season-high 21 plus. No time table for Bogosian but it's already longer than first thought, while Byfuglien is hoping to resume skating this week.
Jets need to get their road game going as after the two this week they return home for two, and then play eight of nine on the road.