WINNIPEG MB – The Winnipeg Jets were coming off a tough OT loss and very quiet trade deadline that saw the club stand pat and go with what they have in this sprint to the playoffs. One of the Western Conference elite teams the LA Kings showed them how far off they are as they completely dominated in a 3-1 road win.
“I think we ran into the Kings at their best,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.
Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec must have felt like he was playing by himself as he made 38 saves on 41 shots in the loss. He was named the game’s first star.
LA goalie Jonathan Quick wasn’t nearly as busy as he made 17 saves to get the win.
The Jets received some bad news as rookie Mark Sheifele will be lost for 8 weeks with a sprained ACL in his knee. He has been one of the team’s best players and will be missed.
The Kings got goals from Dustin Brown his 12th , Mike Richards his 9th , Alec Martinez got his 6th on the power play.
“It was important for us to get on top of it,” Brown said of the Kings’ situation. “Our team is capable of it. It’s just a matter of doing the right things, and it’s going to take everyone. That’s what has happened so far and what needs to continue to happen.”
The Jets got their lone goal from Olli Jokinen his 15th on a beautiful feed from Evander Kane.
“[Los Angeles is] tight defensively, so simplifying is the way to go against them,” Jets captain Andrew Ladd said. “You’ve got to try to throw everything at them and create off of that. We probably didn’t do enough of that, but we’ve got to find a way to get past this game and look forward to Saturday [at home against the Ottawa Senators].”
Things looked good early as the Jets came out flying and had some early chances but as the game went on the Kings showed why they are one of the elite as they started to take it the Jets . It didn’t help that after taking a 1-0 lead the Jets allowed the Kings to come back forty two seconds later and tie the game at 1-1.
Just four minutes later Toby Enstrom delivered a pizza up the middle that Richards wired top shelf and that seemed to be the turning point as the Kings never looked back.
This was a heavy physical game as both teams were throwing their weight around ,
“[The Kings] will take your game and frustrate you to the point that you start to change what you’re trying to do, because nothing is given easily,” Maurice said. “… We held on to [the puck] for just a half-second [too long], and it wasn’t sharp and it wasn’t fast.
“We started to do so many more things with our feet not moving, and that’s just the kiss of death against them. By the time the decision gets made and the puck is moved, they’ve set their defense from the position where they can just jump on you, and that’s what happened.”
Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien hit Jake Muzzin right into the Winnipeg player bench .
The Jets will need to turn things around and get back in the win column if they wanna stay in this tight race for eighth.
“That’s a good team with a good system,” Pavelec said. “They don’t give you much. They play the same way all the time, and that’s the reason they won the Cup. They showed us how to play the game.
“I think it’s one of the best teams. They played the game they wanted. They deserved to win.”
The Jets announced they have signed Mark Stuart to a four year 10 million dollar contract extension, he is a heart and soul guy that every team needs .
Winnipeg has also called up John Albert from the St. John Ice Caps of the AHL .
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