(SportsNetwork.com) – The Winnipeg Jets have failed to hold leads in the third
period while losing both Games 1 and 2 against the Anaheim Ducks. The Jets
hope the first NHL playoff game in Winnipeg in nearly two decades can help get
them on the board in the Western Conference quarterfinals.
Winnipeg will try to avoid falling into a 0-3 series hole when they host the
Ducks on Monday in what expects to be an emotional night at MTS Centre.
The Jets are in the postseason for the first time since 2007, when they were
still known as the Atlanta Thrashers. That trip marked the club’s only
appearance in the playoffs and it ended with a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the
New York Rangers in the opening round.
Winnipeg will try once again for the franchise’s first playoff win tonight as
the city hosts its first playoff game since April 28, 1996. The original Jets
dropped a 4-1 decision to Detroit that night at Winnipeg Arena in the final
tilt of a six-game series’ loss. The franchise relocated to Phoenix the
following season and became known as the Coyotes.
The crowd expects to be raucous tonight at MTS Centre. Fans will celebrate
Winnipeg’s return to the postseason by partaking in the traditional
“Whiteout,” which will turn the building into a sea of white T-shirts.
“We’ve waited about two decades for this, 19 years to be exact, to celebrate
our Jets in the playoffs,” Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman told NHL.com last week.
“The excitement’s pretty thick in the air. You can really feel it across the
The Jets find themselves down 2-0 to top-seeded Anaheim after blowing third-
period leads in the first two tilts of this best-of-seven series. Winnipeg led
2-1 after 40 minutes before losing the opener 4-2 then dropped Saturday’s test
at the Honda Center by a 2-1 count.
The Ducks were down 1-0 heading into the third period before Patrick Maroon’s
power-play goal knotted the score with 9:17 left in regulation. The game
appeared to be headed to overtime, but Jakob Silfverberg tallied with 21
seconds remaining in the third to deliver the win and a 2-0 lead for Anaheim.
Ryan Kesler shuttled the puck into the left-wing corner where Silfverberg,
fresh from a battle with Jets forward Bryan Little, scooped it up, moved out
in front and scored on a hard shot to the far side.
Frederik Andersen backed his offense with 28 saves and owns a .946 save
percentage in this series.
The Ducks, meanwhile, hold a 5-0 scoring advantage in the third period over
the first two games.
“We didn’t quit,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “I think both games have
been extremely even right down to the wire. Both teams are battling as hard as
they can. Consequently you get one-goal games that come down to the last
Adam Pardy lit the lamp for the Jets, while Ondrej Pavelec stopped 37 pucks in
defeat. Pardy’s marker was his first career playoff goal and first of any kind
since Jan. 26, 2011 for Calgary.
“Well we get on a plane to fly home and deal with the game the next morning
and get back at it,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “By the time that puck
drops in Winnipeg we would have put this one behind us.”
Jets center Mathieu Perreault played Saturday after missing Game 1 with a
lower-body injury. He posted an assist in the Game 2 loss.
This is the first playoff meeting between the Ducks and the current Jets.
Anaheim swept the three-game season series in 2014-15, winning twice in
Winnipeg prior to a shootout win at home on Jan. 11.