The Winnipeg Jets couldn’t complete the Ontario sweep as they fell to the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a shootout settling for a single point.
For the second straight night the game went right to the wire but unlike the night before against the Toronto Maple Leafs the Jets failed to score the go ahead goal and then lost the game in the shootout. It was the fourth time already this season the Jets have played in back to back nights with their record now 2-1-1 in the second game of the back to backs. The Jets finished the four game road trip with five of a possible eight points.
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Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson was spectacular at times as he bounced back from a poor performance in his last start against the Montreal Canadiens. He finished the game with 29 saves. Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien scored the Jets goals in the loss while Cody Ceci and Bobby Ryan found the net for Ottawa.
The Jets failed to score on an early man advantage and soon after the penalty expired the Senators won the offensive zone faceoff. It came back to Ceci and he fired it from the point and the puck appeared to hit Hutchinson in the mask as it sailed into the net. Ceci’s second goal of the season was assisted by Jean-Gabriel Pageau as Ottawa jumped out on top. It was the first time the Sens have scored the games first goal on home ice this season. And it was the only goal of the opening period as the Sens out shot Winnipeg 11-9.
The Senators had several odd man rushes in the first half of the second period as Hutchinson kept the Jets within a single goal. But midway through the second the Jets got caught on a bad line change which led to a Sens 2-on-1. Mika Zibanejad set up Bobby Ryan and he buried the one-timer for his fifth goal of the season and a two goal Ottawa lead.
The Jets finally solved Craig Anderson with 2:41 left in the second period. Blake Wheeler spotted Ladd at the side of the net and the Jets captain deposited the puck behind Anderson before he could get across to hug the goal post. Toby Enstrom also had an assist on Ladd’s fourth goal of the campaign. The Jets trailed 2-1 through 40 minutes with the shots 10 aside in the period.
They opened the third period playing 4-on-4 and just 26 seconds into the final frame Byfuglien stole the puck at his own blueline and skated the length of the ice before muscling a slap shot past Anderson. His fourth goal was unassisted and the Jets were on even terms.
It was a dominating third period for the Jets out shooting Ottawa 14-7. But they couldn’t muster the go ahead goal and Hutchinson was forced to make a pair of big saves in the dieing minutes to send the game to overtime.
Playing 3-on-3 in the extra period Hutchinson robbed Erik Karlsson on a breakaway in the first minute of OT. Both teams had chances to end it but it remained tied through the extra five minute period. The Jets led 7-3 in shots.
In their first shootout of the season Ryan scored on the Sens first attempt but Wheeler replied for the Jets to even it up. Kyle Turris then gave the Sens the lead back as he picked the top corner. Ladd was up next for the Jets but Anderson came sliding out to make the save. Then Zibanejad made it 3-for-3 in the shootout for Ottawa to give the Senators a 3-2 victory.
The Jets had a 40-31 advantage in shots. Byfuglien led the Jets in ice time at 28:04. The Jets were 0/2 on the powerplay and only won 40% of the faceoffs.
The Jets used the same lineup as the night before with Adam Pardy, Paul Postma and Patrice Cormier all healthy scratches. They’ll play host to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday before embarking on a crucial four game road trip with all four games against Central Division opponents.