edge Canucks to keep slim hopes alive
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[March 27, 2017]
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Jets'
roster is battered, and the team's playoff hopes are almost fatally
bruised, yet a tight win over the Vancouver Canucks showed that
Winnipeg hasn't thrown in the towel yet.
Thanks to a sparkling power play, a 28-save performance by
goaltender Michael Hutchinson, and a two-point night from red-hot
center Mathieu Perreault, the Jets edged the Canucks 2-1 on Sunday
night in front of a jubilant home crowd.
"We still have to play games, so we come to the rink and try to win
hockey games," said Perreault, who scored the Jets' opening goal and
notched a helper on Adam Lowry's game-winner.
"Hutch was great for us tonight. It's always nice to see him play
well. You know he's battling in the net. We're just trying to build
confidence within our group, play hard and that's just all we can do
With six games left to play, the Jets (34-35-7) need to win out to
have any hope of a postseason, and the end is all but assured.
Vancouver (30-36-8) was formally eliminated from contention on
On the other side of the ice, the Canucks didn't generate much
offense as captain Henrik Sedin was hoping to see; they hung tight
thanks in large part to goalie Ryan Miller, who turned away 30 of
the 32 shots he faced.
"I think we could have done a better job of forechecking for sure,"
Sedin said. "They're missing quite a few defensemen, so I think we
could've put more pressure on them. They played a simple game, they
got pucks out and their forwards are fast, so they made it tough on
Meanwhile, Miller couldn't stop the Jets' game-winner, which came
with 8:13 remaining in regulation.
With Vancouver center Michael Chaput in the box for high-sticking,
Jets Lowry took a slick pass from Perreault and buried it past
Miller for the 2-1 lead. It was the first game-winner in Lowry's
"It's always nice to score goals at crucial times," Lowry said. "At
this time of the year, it's still fun to win. We're still trying to
put our best foot forward in the game. I was pretty excited."
Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler picked up an assist on that goal. In
fact, Wheeler and Perreault figured into both Jets' markers, as the
home team went 2-for-2 on the power play.
Vancouver opened scoring for the fourth game in a row. There were
only 21 seconds left in the first period when Canucks defenseman
Alex Edler's wrister beat Hutchinson.
Defenseman Chris Tanev and center Bo Horvat picked up assists on the
The Jets replied late in the second, after rookie Vancouver center
Joseph LaBate took a minor for tripping -- the first penalty of the
game. Halfway through the ensuing power play, Perreault sniped a
shot past Miller, tying things up.
[to top of second column]
Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (34) stretches prior to the game
between the Winnipeg Jets and the Vancouver Canucks at MTS Centre.
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
It was the seventh goal in 17 games for Perreault,
and extended his point streak to six games. Wheeler and center Mark
Scheifele were credited with helpers.
Vancouver nearly wrested the lead back on its own power play minutes
later, after Jets defenseman Julian Melchiori went to the box for
interference. But Tanev dinged a shot off the post, while Hutchinson
stopped a dangerous shot by Canucks right winger Brock Boeser -- who
signed his first NHL contract, and scored his first NHL goal, a day
Before joining the Canucks, Boeser played NCAA hockey at the
University of North Dakota, only a two-hour drive from Winnipeg. So
his debut at MTS Centre featured a cheering section composed of
former UND roommates and teammates.
After less than 48 hours, the NHL experience was starting to sink
"I finally started to settle down during the day today," Boeser
said. "I just wanted to stay calm, stay poised and show up to the
rink today and work as hard as I could and help contribute in any
NOTES: There was sibling rivalry on the opening faceoff, as Jets
coach Paul Maurice put LW Brandon Tanev out at puck drop while his
older brother, D Chris Tanev, started the game for the Canucks. ...
Jets RW Patrik Laine (illness) did not play on Sunday. With 34 goals
and 61 points on the season, Laine stands tied with Toronto C Auston
Matthews for the NHL's rookie scoring lead. ... Injuries continue to
plague the Jets defense corps, with Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom,
Paul Postma and Ben Chiarot all out. ... Rookie D Josh Morrissey is
the only Jet defenseman to have played all 76 games. ... Vancouver
LW Loui Eriksson missed his ninth straight game with a leg injury.
... Injuries also kept Canucks C Brendan Gaunce, C Jayson Megna and
C Joseph Cramarossa out of Sunday's game.
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