The Winnipeg Jets opened the scoring with two first-period goals in a span of 1:05 but it was Devin Setoguchi’s 10th of the season with 2:56 to go in the third period that proved the winner in a 4-3 Jets victory over the Vancouver Canucks Friday night at the MTS Centre.
With the win the Jets climb back to a game above .500 with a record of 26-25-5 and improve to 7-2-0 under head coach Paul Maurice. The Canucks drop their third straight game to fall to 27-20-9 on the year.
Ondrej Pavelec rebounded from Tuesday’s loss to the Nashville Predators with a 23 save performance for his 17th win of the season. Eddie Lack, a former member of the Manitoba Moose, made 29 saves for Vancouver in the loss.
The Jets opened the scoring five minutes into the period. Defenceman Zach Bogosian converted a one-time shot from the left point to beat Canucks netminder — and former Manitoba Moose — Eddie Lack low glove.
Winnipeg doubled their lead just over a minute later with Devin Setoguchi’s ninth of the season. Setoguchi cleaned up a mess in front, smacking in a Dustin Byfuglien pass to make it 2-0 for the home team.
The Canucks would cut the lead in half midway through the frame. With Chris Thorburn in the penalty box for holding, Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler snuck in from the point to jump of a loose puck in front of Ondrej Pavelec.
It looked like the Jets would add to their lead late in the period. With just over a minute left, Setoguchi pulled the puck outside, then back inside before feathering it over to Byfuglien only to be robbed by the glove of Lack.
The Jets would lose the lead five minutes into the second period only to take it back less than two minutes later. Canucks forward Ryan Kesler, also a former Moose, took advantage of some sloppy play by the Jets in their defensive zone, beating Pavelec with a backhand shot in front to make it a tie game.
Michael Frolik, who was on the ice for the Kesler marker, made up for the goal with his 11th of the season to give the Jets the lead. The play started with Bryan Little who moved the puck to captain Andrew Ladd behind the net where he found a wide open Frolik in front.
Vancouver came out strong to open the third period, but the Jets were able to weather the storm for the opening half, killing off a Jacob Trouba tripping penalty along the way.
The pressure by the Canucks would prove too much, however, as the visitors would even the score at 3-3 with a goal from defenceman Jason Garrison with 8:10 left in the period.
Setoguchi iced the game with his second marker of the game, finishing on a wrist shot that beat Lack low with 2:56 to go in the third period.
First period summary:
Goals – 1. WPG Bogosian (3) (Enstrom, Ladd) 5:02 2. WPG Setoguchi (9) (Byfuglien, Scheifele) 6:07 3. VAN Edler (4) PPG (Kesler, Sedin) 10:27
Penalties – WPG Thorburn (Holding) 10:19
Second period summary:
Goals – 4. VAN Kesler (19) (Unassisted) 4:48 5. WPG Frolik (11) (Ladd, Little) 6:41
Penalties – VAN Lain (Tripping) 11:40
Third period summary:
Goals – 6. Garrison (6) (Stanton, Kesler) 11:50 7. WPG Setoguchi (10) (Trouba) 17:04
Penalties – WPG Trouba (Tripping) 6:29, VAN Booth (High-sticking) 12:22, VAN Burrows (High-sticking) 17:04