The Ottawa Senators had a chance to move into first place in the Atlantic Division while the Winnipeg Jets were slowly making their way back into a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both teams had good chances, and control of the play went back and forth between the two teams. The Senators were the team with the bigger push, but an early lead by the Jets that extended to two was the difference in the game.
The Jets needed just one shot to open the scoring and put the Senators in a tight spot early. Dustin Byfuglien began the breakout from the Jets’ zone and found the ideal spot to plant himself as his teammates went to retrieve the puck. He received a pass on top of the faceoff circle and ripped a shot past Mike Condon.
Tommy Wingels had the best following chance to tie it up after the first goal. He received Chris Kelly’s pass on a two-on-one rush, but could not properly get his blade on the puck.
Mathieu Perreault increased the lead with the help of a good set up by Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele. The Senators lost the puck around the boards in their own zone, allowing Laine to pick it up. He passed it to Scheifele who simply put the puck on net. Perreault took the rebound and stretched the puck around Condon.
The Senators were unable to create good scoring chances despite their higher shot totals, while the Jets got more of their shots in tight.
The Senators received bad news, as they announced that Mike Hoffman would not return to the game for the rest of the evening.
Mark Stone showed that he could carry some of Hoffman’s goal scoring, as he brought the score 2-1. On the power play, he received a pass from Erik Karlsson right in the middle of the ice. He let loose his shot, putting it above Connor Hellebuyck’s shoulder.
The Jets pushed back soon after, spending a good amount of time in the Senators zone. They set up a few one-time and slap shots, which Condon turned aside and the skaters blocked.
Zack Smith got a good chance by playing to his strength of crashing the net. He received a pass in tight as he was skating to the net past the Jets defence. Hellebuyck stayed with him and was able to turn him away.
Josh Morrissey put the Jets back up by two as his point shot hit Cody Ceci in front, going past Condon. The Jets were able to establish possession in the offensive zone by chipping the puck in and forcing a turnover.
Smith was the benefactor of a good redirection play. From the right point, Karlsson sent the puck towards Derick Brassard, who posted himself at the left of the Jets’ net. The puck hit him and went towards Smith, who was in front of the crease. He directed the puck past Hellebuyck, getting the score to 3-2 for the Jets.
The Senators would suffer another big loss, as Jacob Trouba caught Mark Stone with a shoulder to the head. Stone went to the dressing room, needing to go through concussion protocol. The Senators were unable to create anything on that power play, with the Jets being aggressive on the kill.
Despite losing their two top forwards, the Senators gave a really strong push in trying to tie the game up. The Jets were able to eventually push their way back, trapping the Senators in their own zone, first through possession and then with good forechecking pressure, preventing Condon from going to the bench.
The Senators thought that they might have tied the game up in the dying seconds, as Jean-Gabriel Pageau tried to push the puck past Hellebuyck’s after jamming it to the post. The replay was inconclusive, preserving the Jets’ lead to the end of the game.
WPG – Dustin Byfuglien (9) assisted by Mark Scheifele (34) and Patrik Laine (23)
WPG – Mathieu Perreault (6) assisted by Mark Scheifele (35) and Patrik Laine (24)
OTT – Mark Stone (22) (PP) assisted by Erik Karlsson (41) and Dion Phaneuf (16)
WPG – Josh Morrissey (3) (unassisted)
OTT – Zack Smith (14) assisted by Derick Brassard (21) & Erik Karlsson (42)
THW Three Stars
First: Connor Hellebuyck (32 saves, .941 save percentage)
Second: Mark Scheifele (2 assists, 21:26 TOI)
Third: Erik Karlsson (2 assists, 5 shots, 29:08 TOI)
Ottawa Senators at New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center – 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 21
Broadcast channels: TSN5 & MSG+
Winnipeg Jets at Toronto Maple Leafs
Air Canada Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 21
Broadcast channels: TSN3 & TSN4