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Beyak: Jets return home with split in the two game trip

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Dennis Beyak
12/18/2013 11:29:26 AM
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Buffalo Sabres 4 Winnipeg Jets 2 - The Jets return home with a split in the two game trip, a win in Columbus and the loss in Buffalo. Jets now back to .500 on the road and a game below .500 on the season.

Next up, a home game Friday against Florida (TSN Jets, TSN 1290), then another back-to-back road trip, Sunday in Vancouver and Monday in Edmonton. (Both TSN Jets, TSN 1290). Jets are 0-3-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

The first period was scoreless thanks to Ondrej Pavelec. The Jets were outshot 19-7. It was the most shots the Jets have given up in one period this season and the most the Sabres have had in one period this season. Sabres have scored just seven first period goals in 34 games.

The Jets struck quickly to start the second as Mark Scheifele beat Ryan Miller twice in 36 seconds. That is the fastest two road goals by the same player in franchise history. It was his first multi goal game, with   all six of his goals coming on the road. His point streak is now at four (3-2-5). He now has 10 points in his last 12 games (5-5-10) and six points in his last six games (4-2-6). Scheifele is a plus 6 over the past 12 games, with eight of those games on the road.  At 10:16 of the second the Sabres got on the board with Steve Ott notching his fourth. Jets outshot the Sabres 12-5 in the second.

Despite being 0-20 when trailing going into the third, the Sabres kept coming at the Jets and were the better team. Fifty seconds in Marcus Foligno tied the game with his 4th, and 1:41 later Matt Moulson's power play goal gave the Sabres their first lead of the game. Matt Ellis put the game away at 13:38 with his first of the year. Sabres outshot the Jets 31-27, the first time in seven games the Jets failed to outshoot their opponent. Despite a solid effort, Pavelec is now winless in his last five decisions.

Eric O'Dell made his NHL debut, called up from St. John's with James Wright out with the flu. O'Dell played 4:39, missed the net with three shots and had one hit. The 23 year old led the IceCaps in scoring last year and is leading them again this season. Anthony Peluso sat out game two of his three game suspension, Zach Bogosian again practiced with the team but nothing firm on his status for Friday. Jim Slater, Paul Postma and Matt Halischuk remain long term.

For the second straight game Evander Kane recorded six shots on goal with the line of Kane/Scheifele and Michael Frolik the Jets best line. Dustin Byfuglien led in ice time but at 23:41 it was his lowest total of the season. The Jets power play streak of scoring in four straight games also came to an end, as they failed to score on the one opportunity they had. The Jets did kill a 31 second three on five in the first and are now six for six when two men down.

"I never liked the game from the start," said Coach Claude Noel. "If not for Pav the game would have been over in the first. But we got the lead in the second, only to have the momentum really shift in the third. When you defend and check the right way, you get rewarded. You can't go in spurts. They were first on pucks in the first, we managed to forecheck better in the second, we skated better. The plan for the third was to put pucks deep and put pressure on them." Noel felt Scheifele was their best player.

The Jets will hold their annual skills competition Wednesday at MTS Centre, starting at 7pm.

Scheifele vs. Sabres (Photo: Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jen Fuller/Getty Images)
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