After staring the exhibition season with four wins in five games, Winnipeg travelled to Minnesota for a Central Division test against the Wild Wednesday evening, but came out on the short end of the stick, losing 4-3 in regulation, dropping their record down a notch to 4-2-0 through six games of preseason play.
The first period began slowly for Winnipeg, as the home team peppered Jets’ expected regular season backup Laurent Brossoit with 12 shots, resulting in an Eric Staal baseball-style go ahead marker, before Winnipeg’s Nelson Nogier beat Devan Dubnyk with a hard, low shot from the point.
After remaining tied through the first period of play, Kristian Vesalainen gave Winnipeg a short lived lead, before the Wild’s Greg Pateryn knotted the contest back up midway through the second frame. With just 11 seconds to go in the period a Nikolaj Ehlers shot from long distance bounced off Dubnyk, off Byfuglien and into the Wild net, handing Winnipeg its second lead of the game. The Jets rallied for 13 shots in the second period, making it a close 22-20 after 40 minutes.
However, that was as close at it would get, as the Wild scored the game’s final two goals, with the game-tying goal coming seven minutes into the third off the stick of Jason Zucker, and the go-ahead marker coming with four minutes to play on a great solo effort from offensive defenceman Jared Spurgeon.
The Jets return home to Bell MTS Place for their final preseason tuneup on Thursday against the visiting New Jersey Devils. Through four exhibition games, the Devils have yet to find the win column, losing twice to the New York Rangers, and once apiece to the New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens. Action from downtown Winnipeg begins at 7:00 Thursday evening, and the game can be seen live on TSN3.