BUFFALO, NY – The Winnipeg Jets continue to be that subpar 500 team as they can’t seem to string anything together. Tuesday night they suffered a third period meltdown versus the bottom-feeding Buffalo Sabres in a 4-2 loss.
The Jets were playing the back-end of a back-to-back two-game road trip and were coming off a victory on Monday in Columbus, the back-to-back games have not been kind to the team as they seem to struggle but as professionals that should not be any type of excuse.
“You’ve got to be able to close the games,” Jokinen said. “At the end of the day as a player you’ve got to control the things you can control. You can’t worry about other guys or anything else. You’ve got to control your own emotions, your own focus. That’s the way the game’s always been played and that’s the way it’s going to be played for a long, long time. We’re all going to be gone and you’ve got to play it the right way and you get bounces and you have to be willing to do that every shift.”
Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves in the loss, and kept the Jets in the game after being shelled for 19 shots in the first period alone.
Ryan Miller stopped 26 shots which included some great saves to get the win and improve his record to 7-17 on the season.
The lone bright spot for Winnipeg was the continued strong play from twenty-year old center Mark Scheifele who scored two beauties on the night, his 5th and 6th goals of the year. Both goals were created by his strong defensive game and also his goal scoring instincts as he went top shelf on both.
The Sabres got goals from captain Steve Ott his 4th, Marcus Foligno his 4th, Matt Moulson his 12th on the power play, and Matt Ellis his 1st .
“My linemates made it easy for me tonight, but they did a good job getting pucks down low and getting it to the net,” Ellis said. “I was a recipient of going to the net, and good things happen, and I was able to find the back of the net. It was great getting to contribute to a victory.”
The Foligno goal came in the first minute of the third and tied things at 2-2 and this seemed to deflate the Jets who took a penalty right after and Moulson scored and that was it .
The Jets shouldn’t take anybody lightly as there are no easy games in the NHL but when you are in desperate need of all the points you can get you should pounce on the worst team in the league.
“We got outworked,” Jets forward Olli Jokinen said. “They got that confidence in the first period. They probably felt they could be up three or four goals. Without our goalie, that would’ve been the case after the first.”
Winger Eric O’Dell who was just recalled from the AHL Ice Caps got in the lineup and played sparingly but had a great first period as he threw a big hit and had a great chance to score in his first NHL game.
“He took a penalty and it wound up in our net,” Jets coach Claude Noel said. “How do you analyze that? It’s what happens sometimes.”
The Jets will head home for a Friday game against the Florida Panthers and look to take out some frustration and end their home losing skid.
“Tonight the way he played, he the way he skated, the way he went to the net, the way he used his body,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said of Foligno. “I think one shift he had three good hits. … He plays that way, he’s going to be a powerful force in this League.”
Follow me on Twitter @hrank94