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Banged Up Jets Run Out of Gas, Blow Lead in Seattle

Seattle's Vince Dunn checks the Jets Mark Scheifele (Photo by Jordy Grossman)

Banged Up Jets Run Out of Gas, Blow Lead in Seattle

Sometimes you just don’t have the horses.

The Winnipeg Jets, playing without Blake Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers and Nate Schmidt — and with Connor Hellebuyck getting a night off — completely ran out of gas on Sunday in Seattle.

Leading 2-1 after two periods, the Jets gave up two unanswered goals in the third to lose 3-2 to the Kraken in Seattle. The loss put a halt to a brief two-game winning streak and also stopped the Jets five-game road win streak.

Jared McCann scored his 14th goal of the season to give the Seattle the winning tally at 15:28 of the third period. It was a beautiful roof-shot after the Jets gave the puck away twice — once in the attacking zone and once in their own zone. It was an ugly 30-second stretch for Jets D-men Dylan DeMelo and Brenden Dillon.

With the loss, the Jets fell to 20-10-1 on the season and remain in second place in the Central Division.

The Jets opened the scoring on the power play at 8:26 of the first period when Mark Scheifele scored his 19th of the season from Josh Morrissey and Pierre-Luc Dubois. It was Morrissey’s 30th assist of the year, his career high, as he added one more game to what is now a nine-game scoring streak.

The Jets got out of the first period with a 1-0 lead despite the fact they were outshot 9-3.

Seattle tied it at 8:43 of the second period when Jordan Eberle beat Jets netminder David Rittich, but Winnipeg took a 2-1 lead the Dubois scored his 15th of the year on the power play at 12:41 of the second period. Morrissey (assist No. 31) and Kyle Connor drew the assists. It was Connor’s 22nd assist of the year and he also has a. nine-game scoring streak.

Seattle Outshot Winnipeg 13-12 in the second period but Winnipeg survived with a 2-1 advantage. However, Seattle got a goal from Yanni Gourde at 16-second mark of the third period and then got the winner from McCann, thanks to a series of Jets miscues, at 15:28.

Rittich played brilliantly as the Jets were outshot 35-17. The Jets were not the same team that blew out the Canucks 5-1 in Vancouver on Saturday night. The missing stars really showed against a team that is now 17-10-3 this season

Although it was a tough night for the Jets, it was a dreadful¬†night for referees Eric Furlatt and Corey Syvret. Because NHL officials don’t call league games according to the rules, but instead manage games so that teams get a reasonably equal amount of power plays, the officials were simply awful in the third period. Scheifele was tripped twice and interfered with once, Connor had his stick held on a scoring chance in front of the net and Cole Perfetti was nearly crippled on a cheap hit from behind. However, because Furlatt and Syvret had given the Jets three power-play opportunities to Seattle’s one through the first 40 minutes, the two officials didn’t have the cojones to raise their hands. Instead, the only penalty call they made in the third period was an interference penalty to Jets D-man Kyle Capobianco that was actually committed by Dylan Samberg.

The Jets finished with two goals on three power play chances while Seattle was zero-for-two. Seattle won 58 per cent of the face-offs and outhit the Jets 22-14. Were it not for Rittich’s superb play and a little power play magic, the outcome of this game might have been really ugly.

The Jets headed home after the game and will face the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Canada Life Centre.

Covered his first junior hockey game for the Sarnia Observer in 1968. Covered his first Jets game for the Winnipeg Free Press in 1980. Still thinks hockey is the bees knees.

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