by Derick Ramos | Follow @DerickRamos on Twitter
On Friday night, the Winnipeg Jets did something that they had failed to do since moving from Atlanta – win a home opener. Off-season acquisition Devin Setoguchi and Evander Kane propelled the Jets to a 5-3 victory over the 2013 Western Conference finalist, Los Angeles Kings. Setoguchi notched two goals and an assist and Kane tallied a goal and two assists in what seemed like a showcase of the Jets second line.
The Kings opened the scoring with 5:43 left in the first period as Matt Greene blasted a shot past a screened Ondrej Pavelec. The Jets had just finished killing a penalty but were trapped in their own zone. Greene pounced on a turnover and gave the Kings a 1-0 lead.
The momentum quickly shifted towards the Jets as Evander Kane scored a minute and a half after. Streaking down the left wing, Kane wired a wrist shot that Kings netminder couldn’t track down. That would be the first of four straight Jets goals. Olli Jokinen scored his 300th goal of his career in the second period and Devin Setoguchi took over scoring two goals in the first 5:19 of the third period.
Bryan Little added an empty netter for Winnipeg while Jeff Carter and Justin Williams scored for Los Angeles.
Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped 33 out of 36 shots he faced and held off a late rally. Pavelec’s counterpart, Jonathan Quick allowed 4 goals for the Kings and was pulled in the third period in favour of Ben Scrivens.
After the game, Evander Kane talked about how the team managed to find another gear that turned the game around.
“We put the pressure on them… you can’t sit back when you have leads and you have to continue putting pressure on them when you have leads”.
The 2013-2014 Winnipeg Jets are off to a 2-0-0 start and will take on the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night at the MTS Centre. Teemu Selanne will make his anticipated return in what may be his last appearance in Winnipeg.