Winnipeg Jets fans can breathe a little easier. Fan favorite Dustin Byfuglien signed a five-year contract extension with an annual average value of $7.6 million. With a lot of questions about who will be signed and who might be traded before the February 29th deadline, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff inked the defenseman to the delight of many.
The Carolina Hurricanes rolled into town to conclude a six game homestand. The Jets got off to a rough start surrendering 4 first period goals. Winnipeg came back with three straight goals by Alex Burmistrov, Andrew Ladd, and Blake Wheeler but Andrej Nestrasil scored his second of the game to halt the comeback. Byfuglien assisted on two goals in the 5-3 loss.
After failing to gather any momentum at home, the Jets had to fly out to the Mile High city the next day to take on the Colorado Avalanche. With the game tied at one, Drew Stafford scored twice for Winnipeg to give them a 3-1 lead. Avs Matt Duchene scored to cut the Jets lead to a goal but Mathieu Perreault iced the game with a snipe top shelf. Stafford also assisted on the insurance goal to give the Jets a 4-2 victory.
Usually when the St. Louis Blues and the Winnipeg Jets tangle, fans are in for an exciting close game and this contest was no different. Bryan Little opened the scoring in the second period to give the Jets a 1-0 lead but Colton Parayko responded 2:12 later with the Blues equalizer. After a scoreless third period and an overtime that saw Connor Hellebuyck make a diving save in the dying moments to preserve a tie, the Jets and Blues decided the game with skill.
Hellebuyck came up big once again stopping all the shots he faced in the shootout including a toe save on Vladimir Tarasenko and Mark Scheifele scored the only goal for the Jets to give his team a 2-1 win. Hellebuyck stopped 21 of 22 shots.
The confidence gained on the road by the Jets came to a crashing end as the Boston Bruins went into the MTS Centre and broke away in the third period for a 6-2 win. After a close two periods that had the Jets responding to two Bruins goals, Boston scored three third period goals to runaway with the win. Bryan Little had a goal and an assist and Hellebuyck was pulled in favour of Michael Hutchinson after the first period.
Playing in his first game back since November 21, Ondrej Pavelec made a triumphant return for the Jets beating the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in a shootout. Blake Wheeler scored the only Jets goal in regulation and Andrew Ladd scored the winner in the shootout. Pavelec made a great poke check on rookie sensation Connor McDavid in the Oilers final attempt.
The road trip continued in Raleigh taking on the Carolina Hurricanes once again. Jordan Staal opened the score in the first period for the Canes and Riley Nash made it a two goal lead in the second period. The Jets came out flying in the third period. Blake Wheeler got the Jets on board in the third period and Winnipeg continued to press for the rest of the game for the equalizer but to no avail. Nash had the game winner for the Canes and added an assist leading his team 2-1 over the Jets.
The Winnipeg Jets (25-28-3) sit last in the Central Division and close off their four game road trip in the Sunshine state against the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Florida Panthers.
Photo by Star Roxas | Filipino Journal