By Shawn Coates (@ShawnCoates)
WINNIPEG – Olli Jokinen scored the game-winning goal in the shootout to give the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night at MTS Centre.
The win for the Jets came mostly from the efforts of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who made 34 saves, several of which were of stellar in fashion.
“I thought for Ondrej to win that game — and in the end, he does because of the shootout saves and the saves in overtime — he really had to compete hard in that net,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. “It wasn’t a clean game for anybody.”
Forwards Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little scored in regulation time for the Jets. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Martin Hanzal replied for the Coyotes.
The game was slow, almost sloppy at times, which seems understandable as it was the first for the Jets following the Olympic break.
“We knew it was going to be a tight game – both teams coming off a break and both teams being in similar positions,” said Jets forward Evander Kane. “In the third period, we sat back a little bit towards the end, but going into overtime and a shootout, anything can happen. We were able to get the job done.”
The Jets next game is Saturday afternoon against the Nashville Predators in Nashville. Puck drop is at 2 p.m. CT.