By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
WINNIPEG — Streak killers. It’s what they call the playoff-bubble Winnipeg Jets these days.
The blazing Dallas Stars came into town touting consecutive shutouts and a 9-0-1 record in their last 10 games, but that didn’t stop the Jets from handing them a 5-2 defeat on Wednesday night.
Winnipeg put on one of their best offensive performances of the season with goals from Nik Antropov, Evander Kane, Eric Fehr, and a pair from captain Andrew Ladd, exploiting Dallas’ young No. 2 netminder Richard Bachman as he struggled to control rebounds.
Watch post-game reaction:
“It was a (long) break for us, four or five days. It was a good start to the game getting an early goal,” said Antropov of his 11th of the season that came just over two minutes into the first.
Winkler, Manitoba-native Eric Fehr notched his second goal of the season with a partial breakaway slapper — which turned out to be the game-winner — breaking a two-month scoring drought for the oft-healthy-scratch.
“It’s been a tough couple months for me, definitely,” said the former 20-goal-scorer and first-round draft pick of the Washington Capitals. “I feel like I can be back. It’s a good opportunity here for me to get some ice time and just try to contribute in the playoff push.”
Fehr was inserted into the lineup after GST-winger Chris Thorburn suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury in Calgary on March 9. He is expected to miss three weeks.
Dallas, meanwhile, looked exhausted in their second game of a back-to-back having played in Minnesota on Tuesday.
“We knew they played last night and we know how that feels. Sometimes you don’t have the legs,” said Ladd. “We feel like if we can get on top of teams early and get momentum and get the crowd in it… it’s led to some good things.”
Playing with the advantage of a home crowd is definitely not Winnipeg’s weakness — now 22-10-4 — but the road is a completely different story. Winnipeg’s two losses in Vancouver and Calgary late last week secures a conference-worst 11-19-4 road record, and dropped them to 10th overall.
The Jets trail the 8th place Washington Capitals by four points for the East’s final playoff spot with 12 games remaining.
The Capitals visit Winnipeg for a critical ‘four-point game’ on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
ChrisD.ca video/Darrin Bauming