Beyak: Jets win gives them some cushion in Southeast

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Dennis Beyak
3/27/2013 2:11:51 AM
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Winnipeg Jets 4 Carolina Hurricanes 1 – The win moves the Jets six points up on the Hurricanes for top spot in the Southeast Division and seven points up on Washington as the Capitals lost 3-2 to the New York Islanders. The Jets are now 8-2-1 in their last 11 road games, and 18-14-2 overall.

For the Hurricanes it's four straight home losses, the last three all by scores of 4-1. The game was the start of five of six on the road for the Jets.

Jiri Tlusty opened the scoring for the Hurricanes with his 14th goal of the season before Olli Jokinen converted an Evander Kane pass on a two-on-one to tie the game midway through the first. It was Jokinen's sixth goal of the season, all of which have come on the road. It was also the start of a big night for Kane.

Toby Enstrom's fourth goal of the year, on a power play midway through the second period, gave the Jets their first lead. It was his first power play goal of the year, and came just eight seconds after Jordan Staal went off for hooking. Enstrom has now scored the game winner in back to back games for the Jets.

Nik Antropov made it a 3-1 game later in the second on a goal that was reviewed to confirm it was not batted in with a high stick, nor gloved in by Alex Burmistrov.

Already with three assists going into the third, Kane was credited with his 13th goal of the season at the 12:37 mark of the period on a play where Carolina defenceman Jamie McBain knocked the puck into his own net. Kane ended up with a four-point game, the second of his career. He finished the game with six shots on goal.

Not to be lost in the win, the penalty kill was three-for-three, and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 38 of 39 shots (10 by Jeff Skinner) to run his save percentage in the last two games to .953. The penalty kill has steadily improved as the season has gone on, going 63.6% in January, 75.6% in February and 88.6% in March.

For the Jets it's now into Pittsburgh for a Thursday game (TSN Jets, TSN 1290), before returning home to face the Hurricanes Saturday at 2 pm ct (TSN Jets, TSN 1290).

Ron Hainsey returned to the lineup after missing Sunday`s contest with a bad hand, but the Jets were still minus Mark Stuart who was banged up last Thursday vs Washington. Hainsey picked up an assist to give him 10 points on the season, equaling his point total from last year.

Again, Coach Claude Noel was smiling after the game. "We played good in the first period until we gave them the power play. They had enough chances to score but Pavelec was superb. We played with a lot of heart. In the room, I liked what I saw from the guys," he said.

Following the victory, Jokinen said he was confident they would win because of the focus he saw from his teammates. Coach Noel felt that was a sign of a team with confidence. "And how about that shot from Enstrom? I wish he would shoot more."

Ondrej Pavelec (Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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