Sunday, January 18, 2015

NHL | Pavelec makes season-high 46 saves, Winnipeg Jets beat Stars 2-1

Winnipeg Jets right wing Michael Frolik (67) celebrates scoring a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Dallas. AP
The Associated Press
Ondrej Pavelec thought he had one of his better games. Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice insisted his goalie was selling himself short.

Pavelec made a season-high 46 saves, leading the Jets past the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Thursday night.

“Anything out of my mouth that doesn’t start or finish with Ondrej Pavelec, I’d be doing him and the game a disservice. He was beyond spectacular,” Maurice said. “I can’t remember a game where I saw a goalie have to face that number of A-plus chances and if he did, he never, ever kept them at zero for 59 minutes.”

Michael Frolik scored a first-period goal, and Evander Kane added a short-handed clincher at 7:34 of the third during a four-minute Dallas power play.

Trevor Daley scored the Stars’ goal at 18:44 of the third period after coach Lindy Ruff had pulled goalie Anders Lindback.

Pavelec made 22 of his saves in the second period, preserving what was then a 1-0 lead. Pavelec stopped breakaways by the Stars’ Shawn Horcoff and Cody Eakin.

“It was one of my better games,” Pavelec said. “It was a big game for us. It didn’t go the way we wanted, but we found a way to win and the penalty kill was huge. We took too many penalties. That can’t happen again.”

The biggest penalty kill followed a double-minor against Blake Wheeler with Winnipeg still leading 1-0 in the third period.

The Stars didn’t score, but the Jets did. Kane knocked a bouncing puck off Daley’s skate and between Lindback’s legs for a short-handed goal at 7:34.

“I was on the breakaway, and then it kind of hopped on me,” Kane said. “Guy tried to kill me coming across the middle there. I just got a bit of a touch on it and ricocheted off a skate and went in. Nice to get a bounce.”

Daley said: “I think he whiffed on it twice, and it just went off my foot. (Lindback) played great tonight. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get the win for him.”

The Stars put 13 shots on goal during their power plays, but the Jets’ one was more productive.

Winnipeg killed all of the Stars’ season-high seven power plays, including four in the third period. Dallas’ power play is 1 for 24 in the last seven games.

“The power play had point-blank opportunities,” Ruff said. “Your best players have to put it in the back of the net, and they didn’t go.”

Lindback made 20 saves for Dallas before leaving for the extra skater with 2 1/2 minutes to play.

Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead just 3:53 into the game. Mathieu Perreault passed in front from the right corner, and Frolik skated in to redirect the puck past Lindback.

The Jets killed two penalties in the first period, and outshot the Stars 11-9.

Dallas dominated the second period, outshooting Winnipeg 22-6, but neither team scored.

With the teams skating 4-on-4, Eakin had a breakaway but shot the puck over Pavelec’s left shoulder and the crossbar.

Winnipeg stayed five points ahead of Calgary in the Western Conference wild-card standings, and Dallas fell to five points behind Los Angeles and four behind Calgary. The Jets are 8-4-2 against Central Division opponents, but the Stars are just 2-8-5.

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