There was no quit in the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night and now the local hockey team is back in third place in the National Hockey League’s Eastern Conference.
The Jets got third period goals from, Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane plus an empty-netter by Wheeler as they hung on to beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 at MTS Centre on Tuesday evening.
The Jets were outshot 28-25 but first star Ondrej Pavelec was rock solid allowing only a goal by Brad Marchand, after a mistake by Zach Bogosian in his own end, early in the second period. Dustin Byfuglien had a pair of assists as Winnipeg improved to 16-12-2 and regained sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.
The Jets jumped past Carolina because the Florida Panthers whipped the Hurricanes 4-1 in Raleigh.
The Jets have now won four of their last five and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
For the most part on Tuesday, the game belonged to the Bruins. They played their classic check-check-check style and forced the Jets onto their heels. The Jets appeared frustrated by the Bruins style. However, the stayed patient, didn’t quit and finally made themselves a break when Bogosian took a shot from the point that was deflected home by Wheeler.
Then 57 seconds later, Evander Kane pounced on a rebound and gave the Jets a 2-1 lead and that proved to be the game winner. It was his fourth game winner this season.
“We really pressed in the first 40 minutes, but we got that first big goal and then got the two points,” Kane told TSN radio after the game. “The first 40 minutes, we didn’t skate and didn’t get any pressure on them, but in the third period we attacked, started to forecheck and pressured them. We knew we had to put some pressure on them we had to get some bodies in front of the net and force them to make some mistakes. It was a fun, physical game and enjoy those games.”
Kane was impressed with the Jets power-play and the Jets goaltender. Pavelec made 27 saves and the power-play held the Bruins scoreless on four chances.
“The last game (against Ottawa on Sunday) our penalty kill took a night off and we wanted to be better tonight and we were able to do that and played much better on the penalty kill,” said Kane. “And Pavelec was really solid tonight. People think his statistics aren’t that good, but I shoot against him every day in practice. In my eyes he’s one of the best goalies in the league and I’m glad we’ve got him.”
The Jets have Wednesday off, but Thursday they open a back-to-back series against the Washington Capitals. Tomorrow they play the Caps at MTS Centre, 7 p.m. on TSN Jets TV and on Friday, the Jets meet the Caps at 6 p.m. on CBC TV. Then on Sunday, they’ll meet Tampa at 7 p.m. on TSN Jets TV.
(All Photos by Shawn Coates)