The Winnipeg Jets played much better against the Anaheim Ducks Sunday afternoon then they did 36 hours earlier in a 4-0 loss to Chicago. At least they were rewarded with a single point for that effort in a 3-2 overtime loss to the visitors.
Jakob Silfverberg managed to pop free from traffic in the Winnipeg zone and was all alone in front of the net for a pass from Ryan Kesler on the play that ended the game at 4:01 of the extra period. Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson actually stopped Silfverberg’s first shot but couldn’t do much on the second chance as the Jets fell to 15-18-3 on home ice, and 29-37-6 overall.
Defenceman Paul Postma opened the scoring just 6 1/2 minutes into the game when he took a pass from Andrew Copp off the end boards and after being stopped on the initial shot, had a clear lane to fire home the rebound for his first goal of the season. Rookie Chase De Leo, making his NHL debut, was originally credited with the second assist, but the scoring play was later changed to Postma from Copp and Scott Kosmachuk. De Leo was called up on an emergency basis after playing the night before in Cleveland because Marko Dano was the latest Jet to join “the flue club” as Head Coach Paul Maurice referred to it the day before.
Anaheim came back to tie it with a power play goal late in the first period, on Jamie McGinn’s deflection off a Kevin Bieksa point shot. Another former Moose from the Vancouver affiliation days, Ryan Kesler, made it 2-1 Anaheim just 20 seconds into the middle frame. Silfverberg and Andrew Cogliano forced a turnover in the Jets zone and Kesler was left all alone at the top of the left circle for a one timer that beat Hutchinson cleanly.
Blake Wheeler, who fired a shot off the cross bar late in the first period, tied the game about 6 minutes later when he backhanded a Ben Chiarot rebound past a prone John Gibson. It was Wheeler’s 19th goal of the season, ending a 10 game goal less drought going back to February 27th in Pittsburgh.
The teams went back and forth until Silfverberg’s game winner in what was an evenly played, and sometimes hard hitting battle. Anaheim’s David Perron lost an edge and rammed his right shoulder into the boards after missing a check intended for Mark Scheifele during the first period. And in the second period, Mathieu Perreault of the Jets had to leave the game after striking the back of his head on the dasher after he also lost his balance.
Jets continue their four game homestand Tuesday Night when they try to complete a season series sweep of the Vancouver Canucks.