Senators Spoil Jets Return Home
Evander Kane had his 7th 2-goal game of his career, scoring the duece just 1:17 apart in the 3rd period, but it was not enough as the Jets fell to the Senators 6-4 in the Capital of Manitoba on Tuesday night.
The MTS Centre was at capacity again and fans were treated to some great defensive play at both ends of the ice. Ondrej Pavelec was tested early as the Senators put on the pressure for an opening goal. Jason Spezza had a great opportunity in the slot, only to shoot wide of the Winnipeg net.
Throughout the 1st period, Winnipeg had trouble getting through a neutral zone that was being clogged up by Ottawa. It wasn't until the line of Wellwood, Antropov and Ladd took to the ice for a shift that saw Winnipeg gain some important momentum. Unfortunately for the Jets, Crag Anderson stood strong to keep the game scoreless.
In another sequence of Jets pressure, Jason Jaffray made a nifty move with a slap-pass that made it to Chris Thorburne, but was shot wide.
With under 5 minutes left in the 1st, Ottawa found the score board and notched the first goal of the game as Milan Michalek took a pass from Daniel Alfredsson and fired it in to make it 1-0.
The second period saw Ottawa coming out strong , only to be stood up by the Winnipeg defensive core and another strong opening few minutes from Ondrej Pavelec. Alex Burmistrov used a nice defensive break-out from Winnipeg to work his way into the Ottawa zone, made some highlight reel moves only to hit the post with a lightning quick shot.
At 7:06 of the 2nd, Dustin Byfuglien made a nice pinch to drive deep and shove the puck to a waiting Bryan Little. Little then made a quick pass to Blake Wheeler who shoved it in to tie the game 1-1.
Zenon Konopka and Erik Condra took penalties just 1:20 apart and Winnipeg would be up 2 men. The Winnipeg power-play, however, struggled to find any offense, were stuffed by a brick wall in Craig Anderson and could not convert the 2 man advantage.
Shortly after the failed power-play, a battle deep in the Senators zone saw the puck squirt loose to Tanner Glass who found Alex Burmistrov at the side of the night who banked it off of Craig Anderson to give Winnipeg their first lead of the night.
In a weird turn of events, Ondrej Pavelec had assumed the puck was covered at the side of the net, however Erik Condra was able to poke the puck out from under Pavelec's glove and Zack Smith whacked in the loose biscuit to tie the game at 2.
In the last minute of the 2nd, Ottawa had some heavy pressure in the Winnipeg zone. The puck found it's way to Chris Phillips who fired fron the point, and Milan Michalek would get credit for the deflection on his 2nd of the night to give the Senators a 3-2 lead into the dressing room at the end of 2.
Just 1:24 into the 3rd, Evander Kane would score his first of two. After a 3-on-1 for Winnipeg failed to convert, Zach Bogosian would fire the loose puck from high in the slot. It bounced favorably for Kane who stuffed it home to tie it up at 3.
Shortly after the tieing goal, Nick Foligno would get caught for tripping and the Jets would go back on the power-play.
It didn't take long for the Jets special teams to click, and Evander Kane fired home a shot that was a rebound from an initial shot from Mark Flood. 4-3 Winnipeg.
Ottawa would take yet another penalty in the 3rd, however the seemingly hot Winnipeg power-play fizzled late in the game and were unable to increase their lead.
The Senators would use the momentum from the killed penalty to drive up the ice, and on very quick rush, Jason Spezza fired his 9th of the year over Ondrej Pavelec. Winnipeg relinquishes their 2nd lead of the game, and found themselves tied again, 4-4.
Johnny Oduya would take a bad penalty late in the 3rd, and Ottawa converted. Zach Smith fired a bullet from the point to make it 5-3.
Winnipeg would fire 6 shots in the last 5 minutes of the game, only to fall short as Craig Anderson turned away any offense by the Jets.
The Sens would add an empty net goal to seal the deal with a 6-4 final.
Game Notes: Nik Antropov left the game in the 2nd after blocking a shot, and did not return. Winnipeg has killed 37 of their last 39 penalties. Speaking of penalties, Winnipeg has been short-handed a league leading 116 times. The Jets PK went 4 for 5 tonight. On the other hand, the Winnipeg power-play went 1 for 6 including a 5-on-3 in the 2nd period.
Next Game: The Phoenix Coyotes will make their franchise return to Winnipeg on Thursday. The Coyotes were formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets before the team was sold and moved to Arizona. Shane Doan is the only remaining member of the original franchise, and his comments about not wanting to play hockey in Winnipeg last spring should make his return an interesting one for fans. The Devils will be at the MTS Centre on Saturday.