WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Tim Campbell: Hot squad puts on a clinic
The Winnipeg Jets were willing and eager to start, but before the night was over, the Los Angeles Kings showed them how to be strong on the puck, how to be quick about everything you do and by glueing the two together with patience, how high the percentage for victory will be.
A 3-1 Kings’ win only confirmed the champs are back on their game. After losing nine of 11 before February’s schedule break, the Kings have now won five in a row coming out of it (six overall) as they solidify their participation in the post-season tournament.
Ed Tait: Maurice juggles, Jets struggle
But the Winnipeg Jets’ first game without Mark Scheifele in the lineup — he’s gonzo for up to eight weeks with an MCL sprain — also left most at the MTS Centre watching the Los Angeles Kings completely stifle the home side in a 3-1 win thinking one thing:
Get well soon, No. 55.
The Jets were outshot 41-18 by the Kings Thursday night in a blueprint road victory by the visitors. And while there were slight jumps in ice time by those who were asked to gobble up the extra minutes in Scheifele’s absence, the offensive creativity the rookie had been providing was lacking.
Kirk Penton: Hail to the Kings
The setback means the Jets are now three points back of Dallas for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and the Stars have a game in hand. The Kings, meanwhile, have won six in a row.
Maurice liked his team’s start, and it wasn’t all that bad. It was 0-0 after the first, and the Jets grabbed a 1-0 lead 12:03 into the second when Evander Kane out-raced Jake Muzzin to the corner and fed the puck out front to a wide-open Olli Jokinen, who made no mistake on his 15th of the season.
Unfortunately for the Jets, that lead lasted a grand total of 42 seconds, as Dustin Brown tipped a Jarret Stoll shot and watched it just trickle over the line. That’s when Maurice believes the wind went out of his team’s sails.
Paul Friesen: Long way to go yet
L.A. was so smothering that Evander Kane was the only Jet to register a third-period shot until the dying seconds, when Michael Frolik managed one.
To that point the Kings had out-shot the Jets, 20-4, in the final frame, a period the Jets entered down a goal.
SB Nation: ARCTIC ICE HOCKEY
That was men against boys out there. The Kings lead the league in possession stats for a reason, as the Jets rarely had the puck even when trailing. Utter domination.
Ondrej Pavelec was the only reason this score made it resemble a hockey game. He was peppered and stood tall, but he was the only guy out there who had a “+” game in my opinion. 3 goals against and still had a 0.927 sv%. That’s a quality start.