By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
WINNIPEG — The Carolina Hurricanes brought a storm the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t handle and with it, may have washed away the Jets season for good in a 3-2 win on Saturday night. Here are your Quick Hits from the game:
How it happened: The Cam Ward show is what happened. The Jets dominated the opening 10 minutes of the period and it wasn’t until they had put eight shots on Ward that Carolina registered the first of their own. Ward was spectacular, and that doesn’t even do him justice. The most notable of his outstanding saves was a paddle save when he was down and out and Bryan Little was looking at a wide-open cage. Somehow Ward managed to get his stick across and get wood on rubber, much to the chagrin of Little, who could only look to the heavens in response. The Jets pelted Ward with 13 shots while giving up six on Montoya, who was solid in his own right – just without the flash. Period ended scoreless.
Jim Slater, who welcomed his first child into the world this past week, scored his first of season to open up the scoring. But less than a minute later the game was tied off the stick of Hurricanes’ captain Eric Stall. A minute and a half later his younger brother, Jordan, recorded his 15th of the season on the power play. Just over a minute later Riley Nash scored his ninth of the year to give the Hurricanes a 3-1 lead and three unanswered by the Jets.
They needed an early goal in the third to get some momentum back and it was Little who finally got one past Ward after a few failed attempts in the first for his 21st of the year. Devin Setoguchi has a golden opportunity to ties the game with eight minutes left after a beauty rush and feed from Kane but Ward came up huge again, as he had all night. In the end the Jets couldn’t find an equalizer and fell 3-2 to the Hurricanes.
Shots: 35-32 Jets
What it means: While not mathematically eliminated, it is going to take A LOT of help from other teams and a perfect run from the Jets to even be considering a potential playoff spot a week from now.
Jets player of the game: Not tonight. But Cam Ward. Cam Ward is the best player on the ice tonight. Re-watch the first period. Do it.
Jets stat of the game: Who takes two, too many men calls in a game? The Jets do.
What is next for the Jets: A five-game western road swing awaits the Jets, who will board a plane Sunday ahead of their first stop in Dallas. The Jets will take on the Anaheim Ducks and the San Jose Sharks on the trip, two of the top teams in the west. It’s all or nothing for the Winnipeg-based club if they want to give themselves a shot at the postseason.