Jets drop 5-3 decision to Devils

Friday, 28 September 2018 03:38 Written by  Published in Game Stories Read 65 times
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Travis Zajac scored the game winner 17 seconds into the third period as the New Jersey Devils downed the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 Thursday night to win their first game of the NHL pre-season.

The Devils, who are headed to Switzerland to cap off their pre-season tomorrow won their first contest of the obligitory prelude to the regular season.

Winnipeg wrapped up their pre-season with a second straight loss.

“Yeah. It's nice to get through the pre-season here and start ramping up and getting ready for the first game," said Jets winger Kyle Connor, who scored in the loss.

Andy Greene, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac and Damon Severson scored for the Devils.

Sami Vatanen had a goal and an assist for the Devils and Marcus Johansson had a pair of assists.

Keith Kinkaid made 21 stops for New Jersey.

Taylor Hall added two assists for the Devils.

Matthieu Perreault, Kyle Connor and Skyler McKenzie scored for the Jets, who wrapped up their pre-season with a loss.

Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele each had a pair of assists.

Connor Hellebucyk turned aside 22 shots for Winnipeg.

Matthew Perreault got the Jets on the board 13:11 into the first period as he converted a Blake Wheeler feed from the side boards, spinning in close and sliding the puck past Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid moments after a penalty to Damon Seerson expired.

The goal was his first of the pre-season.

The lead was short lived as Andy Greene evened the contest after sneaking in from his left point position before Marcus Johansson hit him with crisp pass just shy of the 15 minute mark.

Kyle Palmieri gave the Devils the lead at 15:47, redirecting the puck past Connor Hellebuyck with his glove.

The goal was allowed to stand.

Sami Vatanen gave New Jersey a two-goal cushion less than a minute into the second when Taylor Hall found Vatanen all alone in the middle of the right faceoff circle and hit him with a cross-ice pass.

Vatanen slid the puck past a shocked Hellebuyck to make it 3-1 New Jersey. Kyle Connor one timed a nifty backhand feed past Kinkaid to pull Winnipeg within one at 9:10 of the second to make it 3-2.

Travis Zajac made it 4-2 17 seconds into the third to restore the two-goal lead, pouncing on a rebound off a shot from Myles Wood to score his first of the pre-season.

Skyler McKenzie tipped a puck past Kinkaid off a shot from Joe Morrow at 3:07 to make it 4-3.

The goal was his 3rd of the pre-season.

Damon Severson scored just over the ten minute mark of the third period, one timing a Marcus Johansson feed from the right side boards at 10:01 to make it 5-3.

The goal was his first of the pre-season.

Devils defenceman Mirco Mueller said consistency was key in getting their first win of the pre-season. "We wanted to put sixty minutes together. We kinda had a bit of a rough patch when we tried to do that in the beginning of the pre-season having a consistent game. I think we were able to do that for the most part tonight," he said.

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice spent the night evaluating where his club was at, rather than concerning himself with the score.

"I wasn’t looking at the game as a barometer. Still watching guys, older guys trying to get their timing. The young guys, it was a bit of a test on back-to-back nights in the National Hockey League. I thought that they got better as the game went on and it’s a good lesson, right? It’s on those back-to-backs, it usually the first 10 minutes, the first 20 to get er going."

SHOTS-NEW JERSEY 27 WINNIPEG 24

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Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.