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Jets Beat Ottawa Senators 2-1

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The Winnipeg Jets' forechecking produced 2 goals. Together with some solid defensive zone coverage and goaltending, it was enough to close out a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Recap

The Jets played to their coach's script with an aggressive forecheck, and some solid offensive zone puck possession.

Jim Slater scored in the first period, making a nice high shot on the short side, after an effective puck cycle with Anthony Peluso.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored his first NHL preseason goal in the second period. Ehlers used his speed to force the Ottawa defenseman to lose control of the puck behind the Senators' net. Nic Petan gained control. Drifting back towards the far point, Petan found Matt Halischuck open on the far side. Halischuck beat his checker, Curtis Lazar, causing a 2 on 1 in front of the Ottawa goaltender, and then made a nice pass to Ehlers for a wide open, tap in goal.

The Jets' defensive zone coverage was much improved from previous games. Ottawa's Buddy Robinson scored on a breakaway on a bad line change by the Jets. On a separate short-handed breakaway by the Senators' Zack Smith, Pavelec extended the pad for a nice save at the far post. Other than those two breakaways, the Senators did not have many good scoring chances. Pavelec saved 25 of the 26 shots on goal.

Ten Thoughts

  1. Ehlers was on the ice for all 3 goals. His presence in the offensive zone seems to create some space for Slater. Ottawa's defenders kept an eye on Ehlers in the high slot, while Slater scored from a sharp angle down low. Peluso also helped out with some really strong net presence. I though Ehlers had his best game of the preseason so far.
  2. The other Jets young players also had strong games, including Nic Petan, John Albert, JC Lipon and Ben Chiarot.
  3. Erik Karlsson didn't play for Ottawa. I thought the best player for Ottawa was Mika Zibanejad, but there weren't really a lot of standout players for the Senators, in my mind. Mark Stone (Winnipegger) had a good game for Ottawa.
  4. The top line (Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler) had some good moments, but they seemed to be still getting their timing worked out. Mark Scheifele made some really nice plays.
  5. Faceoff wins were about even for the game. Scheifele won just 38% of his face-offs, but I noticed that he won a defensive zone face-off late in the game. He seemed to be adjusting his technique as the game went on.
  6. Ottawa's Curtis Lazar won 86% of the face-offs he took.
  7. Craig Anderson took over in goal for Ottawa near the end of the first period. Robin Lehner played most of the first period.
  8. Blake Wheeler and Anthony Peluso both played a role standing up for their team-mates, including Mark Scheifele, on some agitation by Chris Neil near the end of the second frame. Peluso and Neil fought a few minutes into the third period.
  9. Zach Bogosian played with intensity, and looked good for the Jets.
  10. Evander Kane had 8 hits in the game!

The Jets' next game is Thursday, October 2, at Calgary. Game time is 8 PM Central time, on TSN3 and TSN 1290 radio.