In what can be best described as a frantic back and forth game between the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators, Daniel Alfredsson’s goal at 17:27 of the third period was very likely the dagger in any of the playoff aspirations that the Jets might have had.
The raucous crowd at the MTS Centre was treated to some offensive fireworks Monday night as the two teams combined for 10 goals and 82 shots on net.
Chris Neil’s tally with just 26 seconds remaining in the first period was the lone goal of the opening frame, but set the stage for a wild second. The Senators made it 2-0 early in the second, but the Jets replied with two goals of their own to tie the score, all within the first seven minutes. The score remain knotted until some wizardry from Jason Spezza ended in a Kyle Turris goal to re-claim the Ottawa lead. That lead would again be short lived however as Antti Miettinen picked up his second of the game just 20 seconds after the Turris goal.
Tied at three through two periods, the scoring didn’t let up in the third with Alfredsson notching his first of two goals on the night and once again putting Ottawa in front. Craig Anderson and Ondrej Pavelec traded spectacular saves throughout the period, but the Jets were able to put one past Anderson in a wild goal-mouth scramble that ended with the puck defelcting off Evander Kane’s body and into the net. The goal sent the Winnipef fans into a frenzy and they grew even louder when the reviewed play was in fact determined to be a good goal. That excitement would be short lived though as Alfredsson put the Senators on top for good on the very next shift. Milan Michalek added an empty-netter leaving the Jets and their fans stunned in disappointment.
In what was a must win game for the Jets, the outcome was indeed stunning, but the ending was typical of the way the game was played.
With every twist, each team was able to come up with an answer, but Ottawa’s final answer left the Jets with no response, and likely dashed their playoff dreams in the process
- Having struggled mightily in recent games, the line of Kyle Wellwood, Evander Kane and Alex Burmistrov was the Jets best line on Monday night. Kane had a goal and an assist while Wellwood in particular had a strong night after seeing his ice-time decreased in the club’s previous three games. The 28-year-old had a goal and two assists in 16:27 minutes but was stopped on a penalty shot early in the third.
- After going goal-less in his first 34 games with the Jets, Antti Miettinen has been a nice late season contributor. His two goals last night gives him a total of four goals in his past five games and six points in 10 March outings.
- While Winnipeg’s second line was able to generate much of the offense, the first line continued to be unable to prevent the opposition from scoring. Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd were both -4 against the Sens while Blake Wheeler was -3. The line’s struggles defensively have become extremely problematic of late with with Little combining for a -9 rating in his past five games, while Ladd is -8 and Wheeler -6.
- The Jets will be scoreboard watching Tuesday but they will be viewing a game that will do them no favours regardless of the outcome. Tied for eighth in the East, Buffalo and Washington square off tonight meaning the winner of the game will move eight points ahead of the 10th place Jets.
- Winnipeg’s next action comes on Wednesday when the East-leading New York Rangers come to town in what will be the Jets next-to-last home game.