After a quick recharge of the batteries the Winnipeg Jets were facing the Florida Panthers for the second time in as many days. Would it be the same story and a big game from the Punisher of Pucks, or would the Finn in the other team step up and show his native country what he could do?
Good start from the Jets, got a long session in the Panthers zone, should probably have scored with that sustained pressure. Connor Hellebuyck with an early difficult save to get off the mark and into the game. Nikolaj Ehlers breaks free from the defensive zone and with a great individual effort he buries the rebound for the Jets lead. Danish Dynamite in Helsinki.
However after the goal, Panthers took over and it resulted in sending Mark Scheifele to the sin bin. Even if Hellebuyck made some incredible saves to keep Jets in the lead, it ends with a sour taste as with 10 seconds left of the power play Panthers equalize.
With the score even Jets started to push a bit more and Byfuglien drew a penalty. With the man advantage the Punisher of Pucks makes it all by himself, Laine scores from outside his normal office with a shot that most would consider being similar to a rail gun.
The confidence that Patrik Laine has gained with these two games in Helsinki is incredible, it’s on full display at the early second period.
Florida gets another man advantage when Lemieux goes to the box and the Panthers goes two for two on the power play.
With the scores tied the game opens up with a bit of back and forth hockey. But Lemieux hits Vincent Trocheck and that leads to Mackenzie Weegar jumping Lemieux and a bit boxing. Still not smart of Lemieux who gets a match penalty for “illegal hit to the head” and a fighting major. After all penalties are sorted its four-on-four in two minutes, before a three minute power play for the Panthers. With seconds left of the power play, and the second period, Florida takes the lead.
With Jets chasing the game, the organization that was there at the start of the game is gone. The team seemed a bit disorganized in the opening minutes of the third period and never got that sustained pressure they got at the start of the first.
It is more individual play in the third, Laine goes himself, Wheeler too, when the team gets set up the passing isn’t as precise as it needs to be. Obviously the Panthers is doing a great job forcing the play too, but more is expected from the Jets.
A fast break, miscommunication in the defence, a pass to the trailer and Florida opens up a two goal lead. Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien was caught puck watching and lost the trailing forward.
When Hellebuyck is pulled for the extra attacker Winnipeg gets some pressure on, but the game ends with a Jets player in the box.
- Not sure, but should Wheeler really be on Scheifele’s wing? Laine might be a better choice.
- You wont win games when you play out of the sin bin, the stupidity of a head hit and a bit of indiscipline from the Jets cost the team the game.
- You can see how much this series has meant confidence wise for Patrik Laine, even if it ends in heartbreak tonight.