It was quite the warm welcome for newly hired head coach Paul Maurice Monday night as the Winnipeg Jets racked up five goals to drop the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1 at the MTS Centre.
With the win, the Jets snap a five-game losing skid and improve to 20-23-5 on the year. The Coyotes fall to 21-15-9 with the loss, extending their losing streak to three games.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves to earn his 12th win of the season and his first in his last seven starts. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith earned the loss, turning aside 33 of 38 shots aimed his way. He falls to 15-12-8 with the loss.
Phoenix opened the scoring on the power play. With a scramble in front of the net, the puck popped out to Coyotes defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who displayed great patience before beating a sprawling Pavelec.
That lead wouldn’t last long, however, as Winnipeg evened things up just 36 seconds later. Olli Jokinen scored his 12th of the season after a puck jumped out to him at the side of the net for an easy goal.
Eric O’Dell made it 2-1 for the hometown team, beating Smith blocker side with two minutes to go in the frame. O’Dell now has two goals in his last two games.
The second period got off to a rough start as Jets tough guy Anthony Peluso dropped the gloves with Coyotes slugger Paul Bissonnette just 2:17 into the frame. After a slow start to the fight, Peluso was able to regroup and land a couple good shots before the refs interfered, sending each man to the penalty box for five minute penalties.
The move seemed to spark the Jets as they’d add to their lead 8:49 into the period. Rookie Mark Scheifele put the puck towards the net where it popped out to Blake Wheeler, who scored to give him 17 goals on the season.
The Jets started the third period with a scare. Defenceman Zach Bogosian flew head first into the boards after missing a check. Bogosian was able to get up on his own but would need some work in the dressing room. He would return shortly after and play regular shifts for the rest of the game.
Winnipeg would put the game out of reach midway through the final period, scoring twice in five minutes to take a 5-1 lead.
Michael Frolik scored his 10th of the season, beating Smith with a sneaky wrist shot low glove.
Devin Setoguchi would opt to take another route, blistering one high on Smith for his eighth of the year. With the goal, Setoguchi snapped a 18-game goalless drought dating back to Dec. 2.
The Jets had four power plays in the first 40 minutes but were unable to convert with the man advantage. The Coyotes are one-for-two on the PP.
First period summary:
Goals – 1. PHO Ekman-Larsson (5) (Boedker, Vermette) 12:16 2. Jokinen (12) (Byfuglien) 12:52
Penalties – PHO Doan (Interference) 5:31, PHO Ribeiro (Roughing) 8:35, WPG Stuart (Holding the stick) 11:27, PHO Yandle (Hooking) 18:20
Second period summary:
Goals – 4. WPG Wheeler (17) (Scheifele) 8:49
Penalties – PHO Bissonnette (Fighting) 2:17, WPG Peluso (Fighting) 2:17 (Fighting) 2:17, PHO Bissonnette (High-sticking) 9:51, WPG Trouba (Tripping) 9:51, WPG Jokinen (Cross-checking) 18:36
Third period summary:
Goals – 5. WPG Frolik (10) (Pardy, Little) 6. WPG Setoguchi (8) (Byfuglien, Enstrom) 9:34
Penalties – PHO Hanzal (Slashing) 4:55, WPG Wheeler (Slashing) 4:55, PHO Morris (Fighting) 5:33, PHO Morris (Roughing) 5:33, WPG Ladd (Fighting) 5:33, PHO Stone (Tripping) 9:07, PHO Korpikoski (Tripping) 10:01, PHO Yandle (Abusive language) 16:16