Jets blast Canes 5-3

calexander@newsobserver.comOctober 22, 2011 

— The Carolina Hurricanes traveled a long way, with little rest, to play their first regular-season game against the Winnipeg Jets. They’d rather forget it.

The Jets, the newcomers in the Southeast Division, rallied from an early deficit to stop the Canes 5-3 at MTS Centre.

The Canes, at the end of a six-day, three-game road trip, jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period but ran out of energy. That made for a long, tough night for goaltender Brian Boucher, who was making his second start of the season.

A power-play goal by the Jets’ Kyle Wellwood with 1.4 seconds left in the first tied the score 2-2. Jim Slater, Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane then scored rapid-fire goals early in the second period as the reborn Jets (2-4-1) put it out of reach.

After a 3-2 overtime loss in St. Louis and late flight to Winnipeg, the Canes didn’t get to their hotel until 2 a.m. Saturday. With a 6 p.m. start, it made for a demanding back-to-back.

The Canes did get a good start as Jussi Jokinen and Jeff Skinner scored in the first seven minutes. That made for an early exit for Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelc, who was replaced by Chris Mason, who got the job done.

“I think other than the penalties in the first period we came out pretty hard,” said Skinner. “We got off it a little bit in the second and then I think we played pretty good hockey in the third.”

Jokinen banged the puck under Pavelec’s pads for his second goal of the season. Skinner then waded into traffic to pick up his third of the year as the Canes crowded the crease, with Chad LaRose assisting on both goals. Tuomo Ruutu scored for the Canes in the third period, Skinner on the assist.

The Canes had a 5-on-3 power play but couldn’t convert as Mason made strong saves.

But after taking the 2-0 lead, Carolina took four first-period penalties. That allowed the Jets, a good transition team, to put some added juice in their game. Winnipeg was one of the NHL’s worst on the power play – 2-for-25 this season – but looked potent against the Canes.

“The one thing you couldn't do tonight with the situation we faced was get into the penalty box,” Maurice said. “We took four in the first period and then you bench gets all out of whack and they tie the game.”

Alexander Burmistrov, who turned 20 on Friday, scored on a tight-angle shot that hit the bottom of the cross bar. Then Wellwood came up with his late goal that appeared to deflate the Canes.

Carolina was disjointed on its first power play of the game and Alexei Ponikarovsky was penalized for elbowing seconds after the power play ended. The Jets capitalized as Wellwood banged in a rebound just as the period was ending. When Slater rifled a shot past Boucher from the right circle early in the second, the Jets had the lead.

“I think (the Wellwood goal) was big mentally for them,” Skinner, who finished the night with a goal and two assists, said. “At the same time you've got to be mentally tougher than we were. ... We can't get that sort of negative thinking and come off our game a little bit.”

When Ladd and Kane scored in span of 83 seconds, the Jets were rolling.

Ladd was playing with two black eyes after taking a puck in the face in the Jets’ last game. But the former Hurricanes forward scored on a shot from the left point, the puck bouncing past wide and past Boucher.

Winnipeg had not scored more than three goals in any of their first six games. The Jets may not have played a team quite as tired as the Canes, who managed just six shots in each of the first two periods. Carolina began the trip with a bruising win in Boston over the Bruins. The Canes had another physical test against the Blues, who fired 43 shots at Cam Ward.

Alexander: 919-829-8945

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service