Hurricanes Gain Ground on Jets

Hurricanes Gain Ground on Jets

The Winnipeg Jets had a golden opportunity to distance themselves from the Carolina Hurricanes in the race for the Southeast division title but ran into the solid goaltending of Justin Peters.  The 26 year old Peters was solid for the Hurricanes stopping 34 of 35 shots he faced en route to a 3-1 win.

The Hurricanes got off to a quick start pressuring the Jets in their own zone on the opening shift.  Eric Staal would find Alexander Semin for his 10th of the season just over a minute into the game.  Midway through the period, Jussi Jokinen scored on a wide open net beating Ondrej Pavelec to give the Canes a 2-0 lead.

The Jets struck early in the second period as the puck bounced off Olli Jokinen’s skate and found the back of the net.  After a quick review of the play, the play stood and Winnipeg was on the board.  The Jets were buzzing and building momentum earely in the second period as they were searching for the equalizer but a string of penalties put a halt to that.  The Jets took four straight penalties and were down two men twice at one point.  The Jets escaped the period unscathed and were only down 2-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Eric Staal would end any comeback effort by the Jets, wiring a wrist shot past Pavelec just 28 seconds into the third period.  The Hurricanes ended a seven game winless slide and now move within 4 points of the Jets with three games in hand.

Jets coach Claude Noel knew the importance of Saturday’s game and its impact on the division race.  “The division race will play itself out.  We had an opportunity to extend the gap,” Noel told the media.  “No one is more disappointed than us.”

The Jets will play their next three games on the road against the Rangers, Islanders and Canadiens.  Their next home game will be against the Philadelphia Flyers on April 6th.

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