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Jets drop second straight OT decision

Tanev scores lone goal; Mason makes 35 saves

by Ryan Dittrick @ryandittrick / WinnipegJets.com

For the second straight night, the Winnipeg Jets had a victory within reach and were oh-so close to pulling it off, but in the end, the result was identical and equally bitter as the club came out on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision in overtime.

Josh Anderson scored the winning goal for the Blue Jackets, who improve to 7-3 on the year. The Jets, meanwhile, fall to 4-3-2 after picking up two of a possible four points on this quick, two-game road trip.  

"Both games were played against very quick teams and we're quite a bit further ahead than we were a week ago in terms of playing with that speed," said Head Coach Paul Maurice. "It's going to sting, it's going to hurt, but we're going to get ready for another real fast game (on Sunday) vs. Pitt."

Video: POST GAME | Paul Maurice

The Jets pocketed a 1-0 lead at 4:53 of the opening period and held that one-goal advantage for more than 45 minutes until Jackets forward Cam Atkinson buried a bouncing puck and tied things up with 9:37 to play in the third period.

Then, at 2:38 of the extra frame, Anderson fired a shot from the top of the circles after bringing it there from the near corner to give the home side the OT win.

Blake Wheeler had a glorious chance to end it off a marvelous feed from Mark Scheifele moments earlier, but Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky hurled himself into position and made a great glove grab to rob the Winnipeg captain in tight.

"We had the right mindset," Wheeler said. "Tonight was a tough one. We had them where we wanted them: (Ten) minutes left in the game up by one - a tough back to back - I think that's a pretty good situation. It's too bad we weren't able to close it out."

The Jets had multiple chances to put the Jackets away throughout the night, but the power play struggled to get anything going, failing to score six separate man-power advantages.

In their six home games - five of them victories - the Jackets have yet to surrender a power-play goal.

Video: WPG@CBJ: Mason rejects Milano, denies follow-up try

"They did a good job. We weren't able to get clean entries," Wheeler said. "When we had the puck, everyone was standing still and when you have nobody moving their feet on the entry, it's going to be tough. We were trying to squeeze things that weren't there. We need to get our feet moving a bit better and get some of those clean entries so we can get it set up."

Steve Mason, who entered the night with an 0-3 record, a 5.96 goals-against average and an .846 save percentage, had a strong night against his former team, stopping 35 of 37 to help the Jets earn a valuable single point,

Brandon Tanev scored the only goal for the Jets, who finished the night with 30 shots on net.

"He played great," Wheeler said of his goaltender. "We finally gave him a fighting chance. He made the saves he needed to make and he made some huge ones for us as well. There were a couple times in the first period where we were stuck in our own end, and he battled for us. I'm happy he was able to have a good performance tonight. He should have a lot of confidence after that game."

Mason said he "felt good" and was happy to produce that kind of performance after a disappointing first three.

Video: WPG@CBJ: Mason denies Atkinson's intuitive effort

"Considering I've been off for 10 days, it's not easy, but the situation that I'm in right now, you just practice hard and stay sharp that way," he said.

"Overall, I was pretty happy with the way I felt."

The Jets, who entered the night with 10 of their 23 goals having come in the first period this season, drew first blood on the strength of a great shift by the third line.

Columbus defenceman Jack Johnson turned the puck over to Tanev, who took one step to the middle and rifled a shot from the high slot, handcuffing the assailable CBJ netminder. Bobrovsky did get a piece of it with the glove, but not nearly enough as it leaked through the five-hole and reemerged in the blue paint behind him. Tanev hurried to the net and swiped it home on the backhand to give the Jets their first 5-on-5 goal of the season from a bottom six forward.

The Jets were all over the Jackets early on, recording 11 of the first 13 shots - all in the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Columbus took over in the latter half of the period and it was dead even after that.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of keeping things simple," Tyler Myers said.

But…

"It's about finding that way to win on nights like this, [and] doing it every single night consistently. We're just going to have to keep working at that as a group."

- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com

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