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Photo Credit: © Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sport

JNR: Jets Kick Off Road Trip With Big Victory In Ottawa

Mark Scheifele led the way with a hat-trick as the Jets beat the Senators 5-1. Brossoit got the start in goal and played a really strong game as well by stopping 29 of 30 shots. The only time he got beat was off a faceoff where the Jets got tangled up and allowed Nick Paul to walk right into the slot. After that, the game completely went Winnipeg’s way as they scored five unanswered goals. Special teams also played a big factor as the Jets went 3-6 on the man-advantage while the Sens went 0-4. Demelo was solid in his debut and did all the right things as Winnipeg gets a big two points to move back into a wildcard spot.

First Period

One of the recent trends over the past few games is that Winnipeg gets scored on very early in the game. Luckily the Jets made it out of the first shift without giving up a goal, but they didn’t make it much longer than that. The Jets looked a bit flat in the early going and Ottawa took advantage with an early lead in shots.

They also took the lead as Nick Paul got loose off a faceoff and wired a shot past Brossoit. This came after Ottawa had already hit multiple posts and this time Brossoit wasn’t so lucky. The Jets’ defense got tied up in the faceoff dot and it gave Paul enough room to walk in untouched.

The Jets didn’t have much going for them, but they got their first powerplay of the game later in the period. They managed to convert as Scheifele was able to get loose in front of the net on a broken play. He got the puck past Hogberg to tie the game at one.

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With the game now tied, the Jets got a great chance to take the lead as they were immediately sent back to the powerplay in the following minutes. Once again, the powerplay managed to convert as Scheifele scooped up his second goal of the game. After going through a bit of a goal drought in recent weeks these goals should help boost the confidence of number 55. This goal came off a nice tip from the high slot as Pionk let go a wrist shot from the blueline.

The Jets took a penalty of their own near the end of the period but they managed to kill it off with no harm done. Despite going down by a goal, the Jets had the lead going into the second period.

Second Period

With the momentum swinging in Winnipeg’s favour in the latter half of the first period, they continued their goal scoring in the second period. Connor brought the puck towards the net and fed a pass across to Copp. Copp whipped it back into the crease towards the maze of bodies and Pionk got a stick on it to slide it nicely across to Connor. Connor swooped in and easily scored his 30th goal of the season.

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The goals were coming in bunches tonight as the Jets widened their lead to three goals just over a minute later. Wheeler put the puck towards the net and Ehlers was able to get the rebound past Hogberg to give Winnipeg a commanding 4-1 lead.

Each team had a powerplay later in the second period, but nobody was able to capitalize with the extra man. Both teams had a few chances but the puck stayed out of the net and the score remained 4-1 heading into the third period.

Third Period

Much like the game against the Kings, Winnipeg just needed to play a simple, mistake-free period to bank their two points. They gave up an early powerplay as Kulikov went off for holding, but other than that it was a fairly strong period from the Jets. They played responsible hockey and didn’t allow too many dangerous chances around the net of Brossoit. They also had a few chances of their own as Scheifele was stopped twice, once on a two on one and then on a breakaway seconds later.

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It’s important that Winnipeg didn’t go into a defensive shell as we’ve seen that repeatedly fail when trying to protect a lead.

Late in the period, Poolman laid a big hit on Tkachuk and Tkachuk instantly dropped the gloves for a fight. Poolman barely got his gloves off before he was wrestled to the ice. The early punches from Tkachuk gave Winnipeg one final powerplay in the game and Scheifele completed the hat-trick as he rifled another past Hogberg.

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TL;DR Why the Jets Won

Despite a poor start, the Jets were much better in the second and third period. A lot of the momentum in Winnipeg’s favour was because of the powerplay as they scored twice in the first period to take a lead. Winnipeg dominated the special teams battle by scoring three powerplay goals overall and going a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill. That +3 mark on special teams helped lead Winnipeg to victory in this one.

Jetsnation Top Gun

With a hat-trick in tonight’s game, Mark Scheifele is the Jetsnation Top Gun. Scheifele reportedly had the flu last week, but he looks much better now as he’s been rejuvenated over the last two games. A switch in his linemates has been a breath of fresh air as the top line was rolling in this one. He’s once again reunited with Wheeler and they look really dangerous with Ehlers on the other wing. It’s safe to say that Scheifele is completely out of his slump after putting up five points over his last two games.

Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets are off to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. This is the first of a back to back that sees the Jets head into Buffalo the very next day. It’s a rare matinee back to back as they play in Philadelphia at noon and Buffalo at 2:00 PM. You can catch the action on Saturday on Sportsnet and Sunday on TSN 3.