By Emily Doer (@emilyrosedoer)
WINNIPEG — California dreams were crushed at the MTS Centre Thursday as the Winnipeg Jets ended the Los Angeles Kings’ four-game winning streak with a 1-0 victory. The Kings walked into the Jets barn hot off a 2-0 shut-out against the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday night.
Despite the loss of scratches Bryan Little, Jim Slater, and Dustin Byfuglien, the Jets kept the pressure on. Jonathan Bernier saw his eighth start of the season for the Kings, shutting out the Winnipeg’s nine shots on net. Blake Wheeler had arguably the closest chance in the first period for the boys in blue, receiving an onside breakaway pass, but unable to put it past the pads of Bernier.
After a tripping penalty called against Alexander Burmistrov 17:29 minutes of play, Chris Mason stayed sharp, denying the Kings from going into the second with the lead.
Still scoreless after the second period, as the Jets bounced in and out of the penalty box. Evander Kane did not like the hit on Tim Stapleton and he made it known. Kane and LA’s Jack Johnson exchanged some blows in front of LA’s net, and both were sent to the box at the 7:35 mark; however Johnson only received two minutes for roughing — while Kane was dealt with four.
At 11:02 Zach Bogosian was called for holding, and eight seconds later Mark Stuart was called for high sticking. The Kings went on the the 5-on-3 power play. Mason sprawled in every direction keeping the net clear, even relying on his post to stop all 12 of the Kings’ shots.
Three minutes into the third Blake Wheeler drew the holding penalty, sending Jack Johnson to the box. Willie Mitchell joined his teammate, as the Kings experienced a taste of their own medicine giving the Jets a brief 46 second two-man advantage.
Mark Flood was called with interference at the 14:45 mark, and neither team managed to put up a point after 60 minutes of play.
Evander Kane put away the game winner from Ron Hainsey and Blake Wheeler at 1:09 into overtime. Even though Chris Mason has yet to wear his new pads, the old ones seemed to do just fine stopping all 31 shots.
The LA Kings hadn’t lost a game since Darryl Sutter took over as head coach earlier this month.
“We played hard, we knew we wanted to get through the first. They’re a really good first period team. If you look at their offence what they’ve done in the first periods this year, they’ve scored about 40 of their goals,” Sutter commented.
The Winnipeg Jets look ahead to Saturday, where they hope to bring in the New Year with a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Puck drops at the MTS Centre at 6 p.m. central time.
3 – Tobias Enstrom
2 – Jonathan Bernier
1 – Evander Kane