The Winnipeg Jets began a short road-trip that would see their first stop in Los Angeles, against the ailing and anguished Kings. The once venerable and powerful pro hockey team in Los Angeles has seen better days, lagging well behind their peers in the Pacific Division. With only 2 wins in their last 10 games, LA was primed for a bit of a ripping by the ever-talented Jets. Did Winnipeg do the deed as expected, or were there some ugly surprises in store for the high-flying Jets?
The First Period
There was definitely some hockey played, none of it categorized in the “good” column. Winnipeg and LA both generated quite a few scoring chances and looks from around the faceoff circles, but not much in the low slot area. LA tried a few Fancy Dan wraparound attempts, though most were half-hearted. The Jets....threw some pucks at the net. The most dangerous shot was likely a Laine one-timer that Quick was able to intercept.
Despite neither team looking particularly impressive, it was the Kings who struck first. Daniel Brickley fired a point shot that Austin Wagner deflected on-net. Connor Hellebuyck popped the puck high up, and it somehow fell behind him and into the net. It wasn’t exactly a marvelous goal, but it all counts the same. Brickley probably did feel a touch robbed, as he’s still searching for his first NHL goal. Both teams exchanged a few more shots, and a late Kings power play generated one very dangerous scoring chance from Matt Luff. The score, however, remained 1-0 in favor of the home squad.
The Second Period
Everything started off so well for the Jets in period 2. In the first couple of minutes, Mathieu Perreault scored his fifth goal in as many games, a nasty deflection that Jonathan Quick couldn’t corral. Winnipeg was starting to warm up to the game, and things were on the upswing. Then, the Jets took a bit of a brainless penalty and the period began to collapse. The warning shot came off of a Jake Muzzin slapshot goal that deflected off of Brandon Tanev and over Hellebuyck’s shoulder. The goal was called back on an offside challenge, but the good fortune didn’t last.
Shortly thereafter, Alex Iafallo capitalized on some amazing offensive possession from Anze Kopitar that froze the Jets. Iafallo poked home a resulting Drew Doughty shot, giving LA the go-ahead marker. Right before the end of the period, Austin Wagner got a great breakaway opportunity that he capitalized on, getting the Kings out to a comfy 3-1 lead. Winnipeg’s best opportunity to cut the deficit came on a Nikolaj Ehlers redirect that barely glanced off the post. The rest of the period was a bit of a mess, with the Jets struggling to exit the defensive zone and dealing with some extreme net-front chaos. A less than ideal middle frame, to be sure.
The Third Period
The final 20 minutes of the game saw Winnipeg dominate long stretches of the play without connecting on the killer passes and opportunities. The Kings continually harassed the Jets around Quick’s net and the bounces rarely seemed to fall Winnipeg’s way. It was an ugly, choppy period that the Jets so desperately wanted to cash in on. For once, however, the magical comeback well ran dry. Thems the breaks, folks.
Of note, the Jets power play didn’t score for once. They had some excellent looks, but LA’s PK unit won the 50/50 battles and managed to disrupt the Jets just when plays were developing. Towards the end of the period, it was clear that Winnipeg had run out of ideas. Despite the disappointing result, the Jets are going to have to recollect themselves before taking on the Sharks on Thursday.
- Perreault scored again. Yay!
- Everything else.