The Winnipeg Jets finished their two-game series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell MTS Place Saturday night with a 2-1 overtime win.
The victory improved the Winnipeg Jets record to 13-6-1 on the season as they are now within one point of second place Edmonton, and have a four point lead on fourth place Montreal in the North Division.
Despite being the better team for most of the game, the Canadiens lost their fifth in a row and drop to 9-6-5 on the season. Backup goaltender Jake Allen was not tested often but played much better than Carey Price did in his last game against the Jets.
Nikolaj Ehlers was the hero for the Winnipeg Jets scoring a power play goal and assisting on the overtime game winner.
The Winnipeg Jets are back at it again on Monday night at home starting a two-games in two-nights series against the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have lost four in a row, so this is a great opportunity for the Jets to gain some ground on the Oilers and Maple Leafs in the North division.
Here are three talking points from last night’s win.
3. The Jets have to stop giving up so many shots on goal
The Jets were outshot 41-21 for the game, and 14-2 in the third period. Typically when you are outshot that badly you lose the game.
Full credit for the Jets victory goes to Connor Hellebuyck who was very good in this game and only gave up one odd goal that Nick Suzuki scored from behind the goal line. The Jets also were excellent at blocking shots this game as well with Derek Forbort and Neal Pionk leading the way.
Good teams sometimes get lucky wins because of talent. That happened for the Jets tonight, but the team cannot get outshot that badly on a regular basis and expect to win.
2. The third line for the Jets is excellent
I’m not sure if there is a better third line in the NHL right now than Adam Lowry – Andrew Copp – Mason Appleton. As a fan, it is a pleasure to watch a line compete so hard at both ends of the ice night after night.
When the Jets needed some stability in their own end after one of the Canadiens many offensive presses, the Jets third line responded with excellent defensive coverage and zone exits.
When the Jets needed a boost with some heavy forechecking after some failing to generate any pressure in the offensive zone, the Jets third responded by cycling the puck in the Canadiens end, and laying the body to their defense.
Appleton continues to evolve each game and may be the Jets’ most improved player. When Lowry plays with speed and physicality like tonight, he is a very tough player for opponents. Copp is one of those players that may not jump off the page in terms of statistics, but is so smart at both ends of the ice. Plus, tonight he won a beautiful face off setting up Nikolaj Ehlers for a power play goal.
1. The Jets are dangerous in overtime
Once again Paul Maurice opted for three forwards to start the overtime period going with Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Paul Stastny. Last game in Vancouver he started with Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, and Pierre Luc Dubois.
It is a risk to have no defensemen on the ice during three on three play. However, much like in Vancouver, that gamble paid off quickly for the Jets as Paul Stastny pushed a Nikolaj Ehlers shot over the goal line 36 seconds into overtime for the win.
Much like in Vancouver, the three Jets forwards completely dominated the short overtime period. The Jets have so much offensive talent and speed upfront it makes sense to try to take advantage of that in three on three play.
It is getting to the point that as a fan I pretty much expect an overtime victory for the Jets whenever the game is tied at the end of regulation time due to the forward talent level we have. I suspect that opposing teams also are not thrilled to face whatever group of Jets forwards Paul Maurice puts out overtime.
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