WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets put the brakes on one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League in a rare matinée at MTS Centre with a dominant 5-2 victory.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings entered Winnipeg on Sunday afternoon winners of eight of their last 10 games, but a pair of goals from Jets captain Andrew Ladd and strong defensive play from goaltender Michael Hutchinson on outward helped the Jets cruise to victory.
“We’re comfortable with the style that we play and have a good understanding of what we need to do too to win those hockey games,” said Ladd, now with 22 goals and a team-leading 52 points on the season. “I think we head into every game knowing that we can beat any team, and that’s our expectation.”
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WINNIPEG — In a veritable chess match between the Central Division rivals, the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues battled in a physical and defensive showdown at MTS Centre with the Blues coming away with a 2-1 shootout victory following 65 minutes of deadlock hockey.
With roughly 20 games remaining in each club’s regular season schedules, Thursday night was the first of four remaining meetings between the two teams who could quite likely meet in the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The physical tone was apparent early.
“Because both teams can,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice of the physicality. “Both teams can skate. And that’s their game. That’s the way they play when they play well, and that’s the way we play when we play well.And the energy was right from the start.”
WINNIPEG — Goaltender Michael Hutchinson made his fourth start in Winnipeg’s last five games Tuesday night, and the rookie kept his team’s point streak alive with him between the pipes as the Winnipeg Jets shot down the Dallas Stars 4-2 at MTS Centre.
Hutchinson weathered a second period storm of Dallas opportunities to finish with 26 saves for his 18th victory of the season. The win keeps the Jets (31-20-11) in the top Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with 73 points.
“I thought we came out and had a great start to the game,” said the 24-year-old Hutchinson. “We knew Dallas has a lot of offensive skill… They had a big push in the second period and we were just fortunate that we didn’t get running around too much. We blocked some key shots, and whenever they did get chances I was fortunate enough I was able to get there.”
Iconic rockers Journey are coming to Winnipeg this summer for a show at MTS Centre.
The band will play in the city Monday, July 6 as part of their first-ever Canada only tour.
The group’s seminal anthem — “Don’t Stop Believin’” — is one of the top-selling catalog tracks in digital history, after being featured in the last scene of the electrifying series finale of HBO’s “The Sopranos.”
WINNIPEG — A see-saw match between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets needed a shootout to solve things Monday night at MTS Centre, with Blake Wheeler finally settling it with the game winner to give the Jets a 5-4 win — their fourth in five games.
Rookie netminder Michael Hutchinson remains perfect in the shootout this season — now 14-for-14 — as he shut the door on all three Oilers shootout attempts for his third-consecutive victory, despite allowing four goals on just 19 shots through regulation time.
While Winnipeg Jets leading goal scorer Bryan Little lit the lamp twice Monday night, so too did Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov, including a go-ahead goal with 4:46 remaining in regulation that appeared to be Yakupov’s namesake in the Jets’ coffin.
WINNIPEG — The snow is pouring down, it’s mid-February, and we’re obviously a fair distance from meaningful hockey — playoff hockey — in Winnipeg. On Tuesday night, though, the Jets played a game of playoff intensity against the Minnesota Wild.
A chess match for 63 minutes, it was Dustin Byfuglien knocking over the queen two minutes into overtime — snapping in a wrist shot for the 2-1 win.
The game-winner alone was a thing of beauty. Byfuglien intercepted a pass at the Winnipeg blue line then took it the length of the ice, lifting it at the last second over Wild goalie Devan Dubyk’s shoulder. The skill needed to pull it off wasn’t lost on Byfuglien’s coach.
“I’m just not sure how many guys can do that,” said Paul Maurice. “Three on one, using the other three guys as decoys, get it out of your feet and get it upstairs… pretty impressive.”
WINNIPEG — An unanswered four goal outburst in the second period lifted the Winnipeg Jets to their first win seven games Sunday night, halting the Colorado Avalanche from rolling through the Manitoba capital with a convincing 5-3 decision.
Dustin Byfuglien and Mathieu Perreault each had three-point nights with a goal and a pair of assists apiece, while Bryan Little and Mark Scheifele each added a pair.
“(It’s) good for our confidence offensively. Because we’ve been working on our defensive side of the game,” said Perreault, now sitting at career-best 18 goals on the season, tying a mark he set last year as a member of the Anaheim Ducks on a line with Teemu Selanne. “We’ve been doing a much better job of (the defensive side, and when we do that this is when we create offence. Good defence create offence.”
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have had the Chicago Blackhawks’ number this year, entering their fourth meeting of the season Friday night having already beat them three times despite trailing them in the standings all season.
In their first meeting at MTS Centre the Jets also fell for the first time to the Hawks — 2-1 in overtime in a physical and defensive affair. The loss — although they grab a single point in the standings for forcing the game to extra time — is Winnipeg’s sixth-straight defeat since entering last month’s All-Star break on a season-high five-game winning streak.
Brandon Saad notched the game-winner 3:01 into the five-minute overtime period — a well-placed Patrick Kane pass from behind the net that Saad was able to bury from the low slot into a gaping cage.
“It was a tight-gapped game, so there wasn’t a lot of flow to it,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. “Which is fine. With the talent and speed they have in their lineup that’s the way it has to be played.”