Despite playing the night before, the Ducks were the better team on Sunday, a night where the Winnipeg Jets fans said goodbye to Teemu Selanne. The former Jets superstar played his final regular season game in "a city that took me in like I was one of their own."
"This is a special place," Selanne said after the morning skate at MTS Centre.
As for the game, perhaps the quote from goaltender Ondrej Pavelec on the TSN Jets post game show summed it up best: "They deserved to win the game."
For the third straight game the Jets were badly outshot in the first period (15-7 in Edmonton, 18-7 Friday and 15-6 against the Ducks). The Jets have given up 38, 36 and 33 shots in the three games they have played.
"We rely on Pav too much," commented Zach Bogosian, who had the misfortune of falling on the play that led to the game-winning goal. Bogosian saw the puck slow up enough to negate what could have been an icing call (Daniel Winnik thought it was going to be). As Bogosian planted for a quick pass up ice, down he went, the puck gently sliding to Corey Perry who was alone in front of Pavelec. It was Perry's 42nd career game-winner.
Despite getting outplayed in the first, two goals by Andrew Ladd had the Jets in front 2-1 after one. It was Ladd's 14th career multiple-goal game. It marked the first time in three games the Jets scored first, but it only took 1:10 for Mathieu Perreault to tie it.
The second period was fairly even until the final six minutes when the Ducks cranked it up, giving the Jets all sorts of trouble in their own end. After killing off a penalty it appeared the Jets would escape with the one goal lead, but Andrew Cogliano redirected a Saku Koivu shot to tie the game at 19:55. The game remained tied until the winner by Perry at 14:29. The Jets could never get set up in the Ducks zone for a late game push.
Face-offs and shots off-target are two areas of concern, but for Coach Claude Noel there were others.
"Turnovers, breakout was poor, didn't win too many battles, bad decisions, have to defend better," were among the criticisms from the Coach. "Pavelec was our best player. He's been superb in all three games. We didn't deserve to win the game."
"We have a lot of work to do. When you don't start with the puck, you're chasing. Face-offs are a reflection of your battle level. You can't give up as many shots and chances as we have. They were energized we weren't."
The Jets return to game action Thursday in Minnesota (Live on TSN Jets and TSN Radio 1290 Winnipeg at 8pm ct), then are back home for games against Dallas on Friday and New Jersey on Sunday. The Jets are in a stretch of eight of nine at home.
Notes: Sunday's loss means the franchise has yet to start a season with three straight wins. The Thursday/Friday games mark the first of 10 back-to-back situations the Jets have on this year's schedule.
Grant Clitsome saw his first game action after coming off the injured reserve. As a result Adam Pardy was reassigned to St. John's. Anthony Peluso also saw his first action, while Chris Thorburn was a scratch. The Jets were 1-3 on the power play and 4-4 on the penalty kill.
The Jets have had two-goal scorers in every game this season. Michael Frolik in Edmonton, Devin Setoguchi against L.A. and Ladd tonight. Tobias Enstrom and Bryan Little have recorded points in all three games.