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Instant Reaction: The Winnipeg Jets clinch home ice advantage after a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken

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Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
10 days ago
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It was a hard fought battle from both teams, but the Winnipeg Jets came out on top with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Seattle Kraken.
It was game day 81 for the Winnipeg Jets against the Seattle Kraken. With the playoffs rapidly approaching, the focus for the Winnipeg Jets was to clinch home ice advantage in their first round matchup against the Colorado Avalanche. All that the Jets needed to do was get one point at home against the Seattle Kraken, a team who hasn’t been able to match their rather successful season from last year. The Jets came into this game with a 6 game win streak, looking to make that a 7 win game win streak.
Even from watching the Winnipeg Jets in warmups, you could tell that they were focused on the game ahead. They understood the importance of getting home ice advantage in the playoffs, especially when it would be in front of the great Winnipeg whiteout.
The Jets held a 3-1 lead early in the 2nd period, but the Kraken stormed back to make it 3-3 before Tyler Toffoli got the eventual game winner on the powerplay for the Jets in the third period. There was much to be said throughout this game, and there was various momentum shifts that occurred as play progressed, with both teams highlighting their strengths on both ends of the ice.
Time to get into the game that was on this Tuesday afternoon!
As I mentioned earlier, you could almost sense an extra level of energy in the building tonight just from watching how the players approached their regular routines. Right from the puck drop, the Jets were (no pun intended) flying out there, bringing some energy early in the game. The Jets started with what some call the “LAN” line, a combination of Adam Lowry, Mason Appleton and the returning Nino Niederreiter.
The Jets momentum continued to grow with some good chances, and Brandon Tanev of the Seattle Kraken took the first penalty, tripping Adam Lowry in front.
The first Jets powerplay was unsuccessful, but a few minutes later Kyle Connor opened the scoring for the Jets, tallying his 33rd goal of the season. Josh Morrissey made a great entry into the zone, found Mark Scheifele behind the net, who set up Kyle Connor for the early 1-0 lead.
After the opening goal, the Seattle Kraken began to wake up a bit on both ends of the ice. After some momentum with some good chances, and even better saves from Connor Hellebuyck, Tomas Tatar evened the score at 1 with a wrister off the rush. Hellebuyck was screened by 6″7 Logan Stanley, which made it difficult for him to track the shot.
The Jets looked like they were going to cruise into the 1st intermission tied at one, but then Kyle Connor scored again, his 34th goal of the season. It was another goal assisted by Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey, and all Kyle Connor could do was smile after his wicked wrister in front got past Phillip Grubauer. The Winnipeg Jets went into the first intermission up 2-1, with the shots 8-6 in favour of the Seattle Kraken.
The second period started off strong for the Jets, who carried the momentum from their late go-ahead goal in the 1st. After a strong rush down the wing from Nikolaj Ehlers, Tyler Toffoli put it on goal and Ehlers battled in front, getting the rebound past Philipp Grubauer to give the Jets at 3-1 lead.
The Kraken didn’t give up yet though, as just around 3 minutes later, Yanni Gourde re-directed a shot from the point past Hellebuyck to bring the Kraken to within one goal.
The energy and overall momentum seemed to begin to shift towards the Kraken after this goal. Both teams traded a few chances back and forth, but the speed of the Kraken caused some problems for the Jets, especially in their own defensive zone. Brendan Dillon took the first Jets penalty of the game, with an interference call halfway through the 2nd period. The Kraken failed to score on the powerplay, but the penalty kill didn’t seem to give the Jets any sort of an extra push for the rest of the period.
Things started going worse for the Jets towards the end of the period. There were numerous giveaways in their own zone, including ones which led to 3 on 2s or 2 on 1s. The worst of the bunch came from a failed breakout attempt, leading to a 2 on 0, where Tye Kartye tied the game at 3 with his 10th goal of the season.
The rest of the period was pretty calm on both sides of the ice, with neither team giving the other any more grade A chances. After the 2nd, shots on goal were even at 17, and you couldn’t really sense the direction this game was going headed into the 3rd. Would the Jets get going again, or would the Kraken complete the comeback down 3-1?
Well, one thing was for certain in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd, the energy picked up again. Chances for both the Jets and Kraken, with a similar pace to what you might see at the beginning of a game. Both teams continued to have some solid chances, but Hellebuyck and Grubauer held strong in their nets.
The momentum began shifting in the Jets favour once Jared McCann took a penalty almost 10 minutes into the period. Before the powerplay was over, Nikolaj Ehlers crafted a nice setup over to Tyler Toffoli, who deked to the backhand and shot it past Grubauer for a 4-3 lead for the Jets.
Another powerplay followed for the Jets a few minutes later, this one a double minor, courtesy of a high sticking play. The Jets failed to score on the double minor, but continued to show some fight, keeping the momentum they slowly built throughout the third.
The Kraken pulled their goalie with 2 minutes left, but were unsuccessfully able to generate any great chances, and the Winnipeg Jets held on for the 4-3 victory. Final shots on goal were 24-23 for the Winnipeg Jets. With the win, the Jets moved three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central division, and have locked up home ice advantage for their first round matchup against the Avalanche.
One game in the regular season remains now for the Winnipeg Jets, who will take on the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night. With home ice advantage secured for the Jets, there is the potential for the Jets to rest some of their key players before the playoffs begin. This game may mean something to the Vancouver Canucks, depending on their result tonight against the Calgary Flames.
Overall, the Jets did enough of what was needed to get a hard-fought two points, extending their winning streak to 7 games and keeping the good vibes going as the regular season quickly winds down. What did you think of the Jets performance tonight?

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