Anaheim Ducks 5 Winnipeg Jets 4 OT – (Jets 33-33-10, Road 16-18-4) Some wins are better than others, and some losses are tougher than others. The Jets jumped on the Ducks right off the opening face-off and heading into the later stages of the second period had a 4-0 lead. But the Ducks showed why they are one of the elite teams in the NHL.
Jacob Trouba opened the scoring 8:48 of the first, Michael Frolik and Bryan Little with the assists. Little extends his point streak to six games (2-5-7). Trouba jumped in from the line and beat Frederik Andersen glove side for his ninth of the year. Matt Halischuk followed that up with his fifth of the year and second in as many games, assists to Evander Kane and Eric O'Dell. Kane has only two goals in his last 19 games, but is 2-4-6 in the last eight. Shots in the first were 19-4 Jets.
The Jets started the second on the power play and 33 seconds in, Blake Wheeler on one of his left wing rushes, drove to the net and found the far side to make it 3-0. It was Wheeler's 27th of the year, and eighth power play goal of the year. It gives him 64 points on the season, and that ties a career high for points in a single season. Dustin Byfuglien with his 26th power play point on 39 power play goals, and Ondrej Pavelec drew assists. At 10:54 Eric Tangradi scored on a great pass from Zach Redmond to make it 4-0. It was his third of the season. Anthony Peluso had the second assist. Then a couple of key turning points as Nick Bonino with his 20th got the Ducks on the board at 17:44, with Andersen then stopping Little on a breakaway keeping the Ducks to within three. Shots in the second were 12-7 Jets.
The next turning point came early in the third as the Ducks went on the power play. Ryan Getzlaf with his 31st made it a 4-2 game, 1:10 later Hampus Lindholm made it a 4-3 game. The Ducks had the first 11 shots of the period. The game then settled down a bit, although Pavelec was forced to make a number of great saves to keep the Jets in front. With Andersen on the bench for the extra attacker, Corey Perry with is 39th tied the game at 19:37. Shots in the third were 24-6 Ducks.
There was only one shot in overtime, as Stephane Robidas beat Pavelec through traffic to complete the comeback for the Ducks. The goal came 16 seconds into overtime. The Jets were a dejected group after this loss. Final shots were 37-36 Jets.
The Jets went 1-3 on the power play and have now scored five power play goals in the last four games, and are 12-57 over the last 17 games, for a success rate of 21%. It was the 43rd one goal game of the season. Kane led the team in shots on goal with five, Toby Enstrom led in ice time at 25:15. The Jets have only three wins in the last 14 games. They are 5-4 in games that end in the five minute overtime period. The Jets were minus Keaton Ellerby and Al Montoya, both banged up in the Los Angeles game Saturday and both listed day-to-day. With Pavelec just coming off injury and facing 24 shots and tons of traffic in the third, there might there be a chance Michael Hutchinson makes his Jets debut in Phoenix.
“Awful, disappointing,” Paul Maurice said of the loss. “It's tough to lose a game like that. We stopped making plays. We moved the puck for two periods as good as we have moved it all year. We have to develop that confidence to continue to make plays. I never got the sense that we were looking to take the easy way out in the third. We just stopped making plays.”
Jets will play their 9th set of back to back games Tuesday in Phoenix (TSN Jets, TSN 1290), before returning home to play Pittsburgh Thursday. Then it's onto Toronto for a Saturday game.