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Head Coach Paul Maurice Getting Sense of Jets Lineup After 5-3 Win Over Senators

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets’ Marko Dano (56) puts the puck high on Ottawa Senators goaltender Mike Condon (1) to score the game winner during third period NHL pre-season game action in Winnipeg on Wednesday, September 27, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

WINNIPEG – Paul Maurice is getting a clearer picture of the Winnipeg Jets roster after they pumped out a 5-3 come-from-behind victory over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday.

Dustin Byfuglien, Bryan Little and Nic Petan scored on the power play, while Marko Dano broke the 3-3 tie and Little added a second goal into an empty net. Byfuglien and Nikolaj Ehlers each added a pair of helpers.

Winnipeg capitalized on three of its seven power-play opportunities and held the Senators at bay during their two chances with the man advantage.

“I’ve got a pretty good handle on the way I think it’s going to look,” Maurice said of his roster. “Those power-play goals were important, but that penalty kill was more important.

“There are guys here that are good players. There’s an offensive group kinda competing with each other. Then there’s a group that’s out here to kill penalties and do some of the grinding work. So they had a good impact, too.”

Winnipeg (2-3-1) has scored 15 goals in the pre-season, with 12 of those coming on the power play.

Little tied it 3-3 at 8:33 of the third, then Dano scored on a two-on-one with Petan, sending a high shot over goalie Mike Condon’s stick side at 13:12 of the third period.

Bobby Ryan, Alex Formenton and Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa (3-2-0) while Condon made 29 saves and had two screened shots beat him.

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 15 of the 18 shots he faced for the Jets.

“They’re very good at getting traffic in front of the net,” Condon said. “Even guys the size of (Mathieu) Perreault, little guys do a great job of getting in your line of sight and forcing you to pick a side.

“The (defence) do a great job of reading off that, too, so whatever side you’re looking, they’re going to shoot the opposite side.”

The Senators held a 2-1 lead at 7:26 of the second after Formenton stripped the puck from Jets forward Kyle Connor just outside the blue line and went in alone on Hellebuyck, beating him on the blocker side. Formenton was Ottawa’s second pick (47th overall) in this year’s NHL draft.

Turris was on the receiving end of a quick pass across the front of the net from Mark Stone and he easily flipped the puck into a wide-open net at 16:30 to go ahead 3-1.

But with 11 seconds left in the second and Sens forward Tom Pyatt off for slashing, Byfuglien ripped a low shot past Condon and the comeback was ignited.

“We capitalized on the loose pucks that we got,” said Petan, who scored Winnipeg’s first goal.

Puck handling was one area of his team’s play that irked Boucher.

“We’re trying to make pretty plays,” Boucher said. “Lots of turnovers on zone entries, turnovers in the offensive, turnovers in the D zone.”

He did like the speed and play of Formenton and said the 18-year-old will get another game.

The Jets close out the exhibition season Saturday against Calgary. Ottawa travels to Montreal for its last game Saturday against the Canadiens.


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