NEW YORK – Friday saw two games go down to the wire as the Jets rallied to defeat the Blues 4-3 in a shootout. In southern California, the Anaheim Ducks dropped the Coyotes 3-2 also in a shootout.
“There was no breakdown,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We had complete control of the hockey game. We were managing the game properly. We made a puck error [on Evander Kane’s goal] and gave them a little bit of life. Everything was going [well]. It’s a brutal loss.”
The Jets needed a good win after a lackluster effort over the week.
“I thought it was a way better game,” Jets coach Claude Noel said. “Although we were down 2-1 in the first, I thought we played a lot harder. We battled a lot harder for 60 minutes. We had opportunities to get demoralized and get discouraged a bit, but I thought against a team that can close out games like St. Louis, I thought we really stuck to the plan.”
Down in Anaheim, the Ducks were authoring their own SO win, this one over the Coyotes.
The Ducks needed to rally against a strong Phoenix club to gain the win. The Ducks are on a roll to start the season and after dropping their opening game in overtime to the Avs they have now reeled off six wins.
“A big part, I think, is just the way we played last year,” Jonas Hiller said of the team’s fast start. “A lot of guys are still the same guys. Once we kind of got in our [run] last year, we were really successful. Right now, we’re playing the same way. We’re playing fast. We know we can beat any team, especially here at Honda Center.”
Nick Bonino’s writer late in the third found the back of the net with 2:02 left.
“That’s a disappointing way to lose this game,” Phoenix goalie Mike Smith said. “I think we had control there after we scored that second goal and then we kind of just sat back. I felt like we were scared to win.
“I don’t know why, but I hope we take something out of this game. It’s happened before with this group where it’s seems like we get the lead and then we tense up and we don’t want to play anymore. We just dump it in and we don’t forecheck. You do that against skilled teams and they can pick you apart pretty quick. It’s not a game where you can just back up and hope to win.”
Winnipeg 4, St. Louis 3 (SO)
Anaheim 3, Phoenix 2 (SO)
LATE-GAME HEROICS IN WINNIPEG…
The Jets earned two points by rallying from two-goal deficit in the third period. Evander Kane started the Jets’ comeback at 13:13 with his fourth of the season before Tobias Enstrom tied the game with 1:54 remaining to force overtime. Olli Jokinen, who opened the scoring for the Jets, scored the deciding goal in the seventh round of the shootout to complete Winnipeg’s comeback.
…AND IN ANAHEIM
Ducks forward Nick Bonino tied the game with 2:02 remaining in the third period on a lob shot that sailed over the head of Dustin Penner and past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. Jakob Silfverberg scored in the sixth round of the shootout to extend the Ducks’ win streak to six games (6-1-0).
Anaheim’s six wins in their first seven games establishes a new franchise record while 12 points through seven games equals the club’s best start, tying the Ducks’ 5-0-2 mark in their 2006-07 Cup-winning season.
St. Louis forward Alexander Steen continued the best start of his career (7-4—11 in seven games), scoring a pair of goals and adding a shootout marker in his hometown of Winnipeg. Alexander’s father, Thomas, played 14 seasons with the original Jets franchise and was in attendance Friday.
Shane Doan recorded an assist in Phoenix’s loss to move past Thomas Steen (264-553—817) for sole possession of second place on the Jets/Coyotes all-time points list (332-486—818). Doan sits behind only Dale Hawerchuk, who amassed 929 points (379-550—929) over nine seasons in Winnipeg.
St. Louis forward Ryan Reaves also hails from Winnipeg, where his father, Willard, was a running back for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
STEEN, BACKES FORMING FORMIDABLE PARTNERSHIP
Steen and David Backes (1-1—2) both scored Friday, marking the fifth time in seven St. Louis games this season that both had tallied goals (Elias). Steen’s seven goals are just one fewer than he scored in 40 games last season, while Backes already has matched the total from his 48-game campaign in 2012-13 (six).
BIG MINUTES FOR BIG BUFF
Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien played a career-high 31:37 Friday, eclipsing the 30-minute mark for the third time in his NHL career (Elias).
January 21, 2013 versus Boston: 30:27 TOI
March 16, 2013 versus Toronto: 31:18 TOI
TROUBA RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL
Winnipeg rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba left the game on a stretcher 2:50 into the second period after falling into the boards. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays and released a few hours later. “Thanks for the support,” Trouba tweeted after the game. “If you were wondering, the boards are not edible. I’ll be back soon.”
STREAKS AND DEKES
Mike Ribeiro extended his point streak to five games (1-4—5) with an assist on Phoenix’s first marker and scored a highlight-reel goal in the shootout.
Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne broke in alone in the first period to score career goal no. 677 and his second in as many games, extending his point streak to four games (2-3—5). He later added his 20th career shootout tally. The Finnish Flash ranks 11th on the all-time goals list, six behind 10th-place Jaromir Jagr (683).
Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg’s leading point scorers entering Friday’s game, were each without a goal on the season (0-6—6) before Byfuglien set up Enstrom’s tying goal in the third period… Evander Kane leads the Jets with four goals this season. He also tallied four shots and three hits to add to his significant team lead in each category (38 shots, 33 hits)… Blues goalie Brian Elliott made 26 saves and added four shootout stops in his first start of the season… Blues forward T.J. Oshie scored his second shootout marker in as many games to improve his career conversion rate to 19/37 (51.4%)…Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller improved to 4-0-0 on the season with a 1.45 goals-against average and .954 save percentage… Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin has recorded a +12 rating over his last six games and is tied for second place in the League with a +9 rating overall. Among the other players tied at +9 is Beauchemin’s 19-year-old blueline colleague Hampus Lindholm, selected sixth overall by the Ducks in the 2012 NHL Draft… Earlier Friday, the NHL Department of Player Safety suspended Blues forward Maxim Lapierre for five games, without pay, for boarding Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle… Avalanche left wing Cody McLeod will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety Monday in New York after boarding Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall Thursday in Denver.
SNEAK PEEK AT SATURDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Vancouver @ Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m., NHLN-US, SNET-P, ROOT
Edmonton @ Ottawa, 2:00 p.m., SNET-W, SNET-E, TVA
Colorado @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., ALT, MSG-B
Nashville @ Montreal, 7:00 p.m., CBC, RDS, FS-TN
Boston @ Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m., NESN, SUN
Minnesota @ Florida, 7:00 p.m., FS-N, FS-F
NY Rangers @ New Jersey, 7:00 p.m., MSG, MSG Plus
Carolina @ NY Islanders, 7:00 p.m., SPSO, MSG Plus 2
Columbus @ Washington, 7:00 p.m., FS-O, CSN-DC
Toronto @ Chicago, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, CBC, WGN
Detroit @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m., FS-D, FS-A
Calgary @ San Jose, 10:00 p.m., CBC, CSN-CA
Dallas @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., FS-SW, FS-W
STANLEY CUP HERO’S RETURN TO CHICAGO HIGHLIGHTS 13-GAME SATURDAY SLATE
Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland returns to Chicago to face the Blackhawks for the first time in an Original Six clash on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC and NHL Network-U.S. Bolland was drafted by the ‘Hawks in 2004 and captured two Stanley Cups in seven seasons with the club. He notched the Cup-winning goal in the final minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Final at Boston. “His tricks aren’t going to work against us,” Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp joked yesterday. “We’ve seen them far too many times.”
HOCKEY FIGHTS CANCER
The Blackhawks, Coyotes and Capitals host their Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night Saturday. Click here for a team-by-team listing of Awareness Nights, which runs through Nov. 4.
Vanity Fair’s Best-Dressed List experts have selected the 10 Most Stylish Players in the NHL, “in all their well-tailored, broad-shouldered glory.”
With NHL press release