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Photo Credit: © Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G18 Recap: Jets Cut Down In Shootout Loss To Buffalo

Almost perfect.

The Winnipeg Jets closed out their four game homestand having earned seven of a possible eight points after a tight checking 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

First Period

A period dominated by the Jets for the most part as they at one point had a 10-1 lead in shots before finishing the opening frame with a 12-4 advantage, but it was Carter Hutton who was frustrating Jets shooters with a strong performance. The Jets were also really good in the face-off dot winning 63% of the draws taken in the first period.

Normally this is where we’d put GIFs that were tweeted out by our account even if it was just a save or a big hit, but honestly it was the most boring period of dominating hockey you’ll ever see. These are the only two GIFs we managed out of the first twenty minutes…

It wasn’t a complete snooze-fest of a first period, but there wasn’t really a whole lot of anything overly noteable going on.

Second Period

Finally, a goal and it came almost halfway through the game.

The Sabres did manage to have a better second period and actually evened up the shorts after two periods at 20-20 all with a 16-8 shot ratio  in the middle twenty, but here’s the thing… They weren’t exactly dangerous. In fact, NatrualStatTrick.com gave the Jets a 2-1 edge in high danger scoring chances in the second period and when you look at the Sabres shot location chart from the second, you can maybe understand why…

Outside of maybe two or three chances in close, everything was kept away from the Jets net. This is why a lot of teams are starting to look more into defining scoring chances and high danger scoring chances, because while the Jets did give up 16 shots in the second period and it got the Sabres feeling a bit better about themselves – especially since Hutton was seemingly throwing up a force field in the other net – it’s not like Laurent Brossoit had an insanely heavy work load to try and handle. If anything, Brossoit may have been trying to make things interesting on his own.

Overall though, it sure felt like the Jets had some of the better chances to score in the second. They just couldn’t get it past Hutton who was growing increasingly frustrated with the effort of the defense in front of him.

And even when he was beat, pucks were usually finding the iron behind him.

Third Period

The Sabres score early in the third thanks to the power play and get everyone feeling really nervous, because that’s how hockey works.

The Sabres again get the edge in shots in the period 10-5, and while the Jets continued to do a sound job keeping those shots away from the slot area and in close on Brossoit, Buffalo did manage a few more shots closer to the net and were nearly even with the Jets in scoring chances (5-4 Winnipeg) and high danger chances (again, 2-1 Winnipeg) which isn’t to say that Brossoit had a few tough saves to make in the game.

The best chance to score for the Jets really comes at the end of the period when Patrik Laine almost made something out of nothing.

Overtime

3 on 3 overtimes, for as great as they usually are, have kind of devolved into mini-games of keep-away where one attacking team of three just cycles the puck around – even sometimes passing back to their goalie as the Sabres did a couple of times in the extra frame – just to maintain puck possession and hope for that one opening from the other team to get a perfect scoring chance. So while the Sabres had the puck for what seemed a lot of the overtime session, they only managed two shots – albeit very close range to the net shots. The Jets for their part only registered one shot on goal although they had a few chances and just couldn’t hit the net which has been a regular theme for the team this season.

3 on 3 overtime should be a lot more exciting than it is already. Instead you now get teams waiting for one mistake, neither team really making them because both teams are pretty sound defensively, and you just happen to stumble into a…

Shootout

No one likes shootouts, but they do get a little bit fun once they go past your standard three shooters if for no other reason than you start seeing questionable names being given chances to win a game.

Tage Thompson when the Sabres had Jeff Skinner on the bench? Jack Roslovic before Nik Ehlers gets a chance? I mean sure Ehlers is like 0 for 48 in breakaway chances for his career and has never scored in three career shootout attempts, but he did actually score on a penalty shot almost two years ago against Tampa so that should count for something, shouldn’t it?

Conor Sheary – who as far as I can tell has NEVER been used in a shootout, because before this season he was in Pittsburgh and why the heck would you ever use him let alone think a shootout with Crosby and Malkin would last to the point where you’d need him – scores the final goal when Winnipeg couldn’t and the game is over.

I take it back. Nothing is fun about the shootout. Ever.

THE BOXSCORE

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Winnipeg: Laurent Brossoit – Deserved a bit better fate in the game than to have it go to a shootout.

For Buffalo: Carter Hutton – There is a reason why with less shots against than what Brossoit had, Hutton was named the first star in tonight’s game. Simply put, he had to deal with a higher volume of better chances. The Sabres now have a four game win streak and over the last two games it’s absolutely thanks to Hutton.

NEXT FLIGHT

The Jets get a day off, then an early skate Sunday before heading out west for a four game road trip starting in Vancouver Monday night. Puck drop is 9 PM CST.