The Winnipeg Jets looked to ring in the new year with a bang, but instead leave the Nation's Capital with a whimper. Despite being tied up after two periods of play, the Jets were unable to complete a late comeback in the third and fell 4-3 to the Ottawa Senators who have now won three straight at home.
Mika Zibanejad opened the scoring for the Sens before Dustin Byfuglien managed to fire one through traffic to tie it up just over two minutes later. A goal in the final minute from Milan Michalek however gave Ottawa the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. The 2nd period didn't offer of much, but Evander Kane managed to bank a soft one from behind the icing line to tie the game up at two after 40 minutes.
The third period wasn't overly kind to the Jets, however. A turnover by Byfuglien at his own line led to a breakaway chance that Al Montoya stood tall on, but on the following faceoff a shot by Marc Methot was tipped in by Zack Smith to give the Sens a 3-2 lead. And for some inexplicable reason, Keaton Ellerby tried to go all Bobby Orr on a rush from behind his net that resulted in Clarke MacArthur tapping in the eventual game-winner. Olli Joikinen cashed in on a great feed by Buff late in the third to close the gap, but 4-3 was as close it the Jets would get.
10 11 Thoughts:
- Dustin Byfuglien remains a lightning rod of attention for Jets fans. The big guy had a goal and an assist, played over 20 minutes and finished even in the all-important plus-minus category. But for some reason, he was a major reason why the Jets lost to many people as they must want to see what Brian Burke and the rest of Team USA saw.
- The top line of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler combined for one whole shot in the game. Mark Stuart had 4. There is something majorly wrong with that. I don't think that was the game that Olympian Blake Wheeler was hoping to have after being named to Team USA yesterday.
- The line of Evander Kane, Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik continues to impress though. What a nice sight to see another line besides LLW carry the play for a change. However, tonight they were the only line going.
- Anthony Peluso hit the crossbar in the second period instead of capping off the Gordie Howe Hat-trick which was too bad, as it could have been a goal-of-the-year candidate. He did, however, add an assist and 7 PIM in 8:03 of ice-time.
- Keaton Ellerby's MAJOR gaffe led to MacArthur's game-winner. It was bad. I'd been happy with his game of late, but that was a no-no. Simple plays are the way to go for you, Keaton. I wonder if Adam Pardy steps down from the pressbox next game.
- Chris Thorburn continues to be an anchor for Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi, as his two soft plays along the board led to goals against. Olli managed to score his goal without the Thorburn anchor around his neck. Hmm...
- Erik Karlsson led both teams in TOI with 26:47, but for the first time in while he didn't "wow" me. He was solid of course, but he is the best skater I've seen live at the MTS Centre. I'd be curious to hear from Sens fans about what they thought of his game tonight.
- Bobby Ryan was plastered by Ellerby in the second period and left for a time, but he did return and I thought he was a very good player on the evening, though I won't comment on how "intense" he was. That line with Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur is really good.
- The Jets did not draw a single powerplay on the evening. Not one. That was the first time this season. Ottawa only had two, though. Huh.
- Tobias Enstrom led the Jets in TOI with 24:07 and added an assist. Him and Jacob Trouba are sure forming an effective pairing, as Trouba also added a helper and played over 20 minutes. Zach Bogosian is kind of becoming an afterthought right now on the third pairing...
- Al Montoya did not have a great night, which is too bad. 4 goals on 29 shots (0.862 sv%) is not what #wallmontoya was hoping for on the night, but then again Ondrej Pavelec pretty much had that same sv% for all of December. I have to figure that Pav plays next game in Boston though as I just can't see him going in Pittsburgh on Sunday. I still think the goalie controversy is ongoing.