If the Winnipeg Jets want to be identified as contenders rather than pretenders in the Central Division, they will have to find ways to win on the road. After ascending to second in the division standings, the Jets fell just as quickly as they rose after a nightmare five game road trip.
Fresh off a 4-0 shutout of the division leading Chicago Blackhawks, the Jets embarked on their longest road trip of the season in Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. The Flyers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl. Dustin Byfuglien put the Jets on the board in the second period but the Flyers kept the offense coming with goals from Mark Streit, Wayne Simmonds, and Brandon Manning. Steve Mason turned away 30 Jets shots in a 5-2 Flyers win.
Winnipeg struggled to find any offense against the Boston Bruins mustering only 12 shots. Three Bruins goals in the second period was more than enough to seal the game for Boston. Adam Lowry scored the lone Jets goal and Tuuka Rask had an easy night stopping 11 shots in a 4-1 Bruins victory.
The Jets dropped their third straight road game against the Carolina Hurricanes one day later. Connor Hellebuyck stood on his head saving 37 of 40 shots but the Canes received goals from Elias Lindholm, Victor Rask, and Noah Hanifin to beat Winnipeg 3-1. Mark Scheifele scored with assists from Nikolaj Ehler and Josh Morrissey.
Winnipeg’s offensive woes continued against the Minnesota Wild. For the third straight game, the Jets could only find the back of the net just once. Devan Dubnyk stopped 15 shots for the Wild in a 3-1 win. Blake Wheeler drew the lone goal for the Jets on the power play.
The Nashville Predators hosted the opener of a home-and-home series with the Jets. The Preds handed the Jets their fifth straight road loss with a 5-1 victory.
Dustin Byfuglien opened the scoring but the Preds scored five unanswered goals. Colin Wilson notched a pair of goals for Nashville and Mike Fisher had three assists. The Jets would get some revenge as they returned home to host the Predators. Connor Hellebuyck was brilliant recording a 42 save shutout while Drew Stafford, Mark Scheifele, and Adam Lowry all scored in a 3-0 win.
Connor Hellebuyck recorded his second straight win with another impressive performance. Hellebuyck turned away 23 shots beating the New Jersey Devils at home 3-2. Mark Scheifele opened the scoring and Blake Wheeler added his 8th of the year. Patrik Laine’s wrist shot beat Cory Schneider high and proved to be the game winning goal.
The Winnipeg Jets (11-12-2) will conclude their mini two game homestand against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. Winnipeg currently sits sixth in the Central Division and only one point out of a Wild Card spot.
Photos by Mike Macaraeg and Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal