Winnipeg Jets 4 Detroit Red Wings 2
With the win the Jets snap a three-game losing streak and at the same time snap the Red Wings three-game win streak. For the second straight game, but only the fifth time all season, the Jets scored first. Bryan Little, with his team leading 8th goal and 12th point, gave the Jets a 1-0 lead after one, Little scored with one minute left in the period.
Little has now scored five goals in the last seven games. The Jets outshot the Wings 14-9 in the first. The Jets used their speed to create a number of good scoring chances, which forced Jimmy Howard to make a number of great saves. At the other end of the ice, Al Montoya was making his third start of the season and was also very good.
Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the second on goals by Henrik Zetterberg and Danny DeKeyser, DeKeyser's first NHL goal. It was a shorthanded goal and came after a faceoff in the Jets zone. Montoya may have made his best save of the game in the second, stopping Darren Helm on a short-handed breakaway. The Jets kept pressing and Michael Frolik scored his third of the year tying it at two at 17:04. Frolik equaled his goal output from last year, converting a great pass from Mark Scheifele. The Jets had 17 shots on goal in the second.
They added another 16 shots in the third, scoring two unanswered goals for the win. Matt Halischuk, with his first as a Jet, gave the Jets the lead at 4:27 of the third as his line with Scheifele and Frolik was again a very good trio. Halischuk goal turned out to be the game winner, the fifth of his career. Andrew Ladd (who was very good in the game) finished off the scoring seconds after coming out of the penalty box. It was his fourth of the year and first in 10 games. The secondary scoring the Jets have been looking for, came through tonight. Five Jets had multiple point games. Ladd, his 59th, Little, his 53rd, Devin Setoguchi, his 50th, Frolik, his 35th and Scheifele had his first multiple point game. The Jets ended the night with 47 shots, tying a season high. It was the first time in six games the Jets scored more than two goals in a game.
Montoya finished the night with a 26 save win and has now stopped 93 of 96 shots he has faced this season. Coach Claude Noel would not confirm who his goaltender would be Wednesday in Chicago (TSN, TSN 1290) only to say they would discuss and assess. Montoya was born in Chicago and post-game would only say who starts Wednesday "is the coach's decision."
This was Scheifele's best game in the NHL. He won five of nine face-offs, was a plus player, had three shots on goal and used his speed to his advantage. "The chemistry on our line is getting better every game," said Frolik post-game. Coach Noel agreed. "They were our best line last game, they have some chemistry and very reliable defensively."
Olli Jokinen was the best face-off man for the Jets winning 11-of-17. Little took 25, winning 13. Blake Wheeler and Zach Bogosian led in the shots department with six each, a season high for both. The only Jet to not register a shot on goal was newcomer Keaton Ellerby. He was very solid in 10:39 of work with a couple of blocked shots.
Jets played without Evander Kane, who is day to day with a lower body injury. Jets were also minus Paul Postma, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba and Jim Slater because of injuries, while Zach Redmond recalled from St. John's did not dress. The Jets did not convert on any of the six power play chances but it was the best the power play has looked in quite some time, creating a number of scoring chances with good puck movement.
Coach Noel liked what he saw from his team in this game right from the drop of the puck. "The first period was real good. We could have been up by a few. We managed the puck quite a bit better tonight. We got pucks to the goal line and put a lot of pressure on their defence. A lot of guys had a really good game. It was fun to watch our team play that way."
Jets are in a busy stretch. In Chicago Wednesday, home to Nashville Friday and San Jose Sunday, then into Detroit for a Tuesday rematch with the Red Wings.