Jets show best and worst in loss to Ducks

It was the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde show for the Winnipeg Jets Monday night as they fell 5-4 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.
Winnipeg Jets right wing Matt Halischuk, centre, reacts after scoring against Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen with Jets centre Eric O'Dell in the first period March 31 in Anaheim. The Jets would go on to lose 5-4 in overtime. (Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

It was the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde show for the Winnipeg Jets Monday night as they fell 5-4 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.

And like the story, it was a tale of two Jets teams that ultimately earned, then lost, a 4-0 lead in a game they controlled for the better part of the first two periods.

“You’re just awfully disappointed,” said head coach Paul Maurice after the game.

“You liked so much of what you saw, and then have it go away from you like that — it’s frustrating, it’s tough.”

Hot out of the gates

The Jets hopped out of the gates in the opening period as good as any of the 30 teams in the NHL, out-shooting a powerhouse like Anaheim, 19-4, to take a 2-0 lead into the first break.

It was much the same story for the second period as the Jets held a comfortable 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.

For two periods, the Jets dictated the play against an Anaheim team that headed into this one having lost just 18 of 76 games in regulation time.

“They had nothing,” opined Blake Wheeler, who finished the game with a goal, a power play marker just 33 seconds into the second period.  

“I don't know how many shots they had but they didn't have many looks. It was complete domination.”

But those wheels would eventually fall off.

It started with the Ducks wining battles, working their tails off to cut away at the lead. A power-play goal by Ryan Getzlaf made it 4-2. A minute later it was 4-3.

With 22 seconds left in the game, Corey Perry evened the score at 4-4 before Stephane Robidas completed the comeback with a goal just 16 seconds into overtime.

Tough to swallow

"Just disgust,” described Wheeler of the feeling of watching the OT goal. “That's a tough one to swallow, tough one to put in words."

Mark Stuart used the word “shock” to describe the moment. For Michael Frolik, frustrating.

With the loss, the Jets fall to 33-33-10 on the year and remain in last place in the Central Division, eight points shy of the Phoenix Coyotes for the final wild card spot in the west.

“Tonight is going to be tough but when you wake up tomorrow you want to forget about it,” said Frolik.  “Refocus yourself and make sure we're ready for the next one.”

Slap shots

Black and blue: Devin Setoguchi was scratched for his third straight game. Zach Bogosian missed his fourth straight game, and fifth in six, with a lower-body injury. Keaton Ellerby, who left Saturday's game in the second period, also missed the game with a lower-body injury. How about another? Al Montoya too kept out of the lineup with lower-body issues. Mark Scheifele (knee), James Wright (ankle) and Chris Thorburn (ankle) also missed the game with injuries.

Two for two: Matt Halischuk, who’s been playing alongside Evander Kane and Eric O’Dell on the team’s third line, banged home a Kane rebound for the game’s second goal. It was Halischuk's second goal in as many games, a steady improvement from the three he scored in the previous 38.

A high note: Blake Wheeler’s goal 33 seconds into the second period tied his career-high for points in a season with 64. He set the record in the 2011-12 season, the first year the Jets returned to Winnipeg.

Last hurrah: Ducks winger and former Winnipeg Jet Teemu Selanne played his last game against his former team. Selanne is set to retire by season’s end. He finished the game with two shots and was a minus-1 in 12:33 of ice time.

Three stars

First star – Stephane Robidas, ANA

He finished the hero, scoring 16 seconds into overtime to complete the comeback. Robidas finished the game with three shots and was a plus-1 in 23:04 of ice.

Second star – Nick Bonino, ANA

He was a wrecking ball at both ends of the ice, finishing the game with a second period goal that got the ball rolling for his team. Bonino finished a plus-2 in just over 14 minutes of ice time.

Third star – Blake Wheeler, WPG

He was once again the hardest working Jet on the ice. Wheeler finished with a goal in the second period, and was a minus-1 in 19:02 of ice time.

About the Author

Jeff Hamilton

Winnipeg Jets

Jeff Hamilton is an award-winning journalist born and raised in Winnipeg. Jeff is a graduate of the Carleton University journalism program and has worked for CBC in Ottawa and Manitoba. This will be his second year covering his hometown team. Jeff is passionate about hockey, playing and has studied the game his entire life.


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