Video: POSTGAME | Jets 4, Sharks 1 - F
WINNIPEG - Bell MTS Place continues to be 'home, sweet home' for the Winnipeg Jets.
The latest example came Sunday afternoon, as the Jets skated to a 4-1 win over the San Jose Sharks, improving their record to 16-3-1 on home ice, and 25-11-7 this season.
"It shows how strong our game plan is. It doesn't matter who is in the line-up, we're sticking to it. We're playing a strong game," said Mathieu Perreault. "Right now it feels like we can play anybody and still win games, and it's a good feeling to have."
Perreault scored twice, while Matt Hendricks and Marko Dano added singles in the win.
Special teams - after arguably being one of the reasons the Jets lost the first meeting of the season against the Sharks back on Nov. 25 - played a big role in the win.
Video: POSTGAME | Mathieu Perreault
After going 0-for-3 on the power play in November's match-up against the Sharks, the Jets found twine on the man advantage once on three opportunities, and killed off three of four shorthanded situations.
"You almost have to have two pre-scout PK meetings for us when you deal with them, because each one has its own little identity and different style in how it moves the puck," said head coach Paul Maurice.
"Our power play really got going when the Little line got going in November. I don't know if it's competition, but it takes some pressure off the unit that's not going."
Matt Hendricks got the Jets on the board first, taking a bank pass in the neutral zone and with a burst of speed, got through a seam of three Sharks and beat Martin Jones with a backhand to the glove side.
It was an eventful first period for Hendricks, who also dropped the gloves with Brenden Dillon just over two minutes in.
"I think we came out and had a lot of momentum early. We were carrying the play for the first five or six minutes. I think Dillon just wanted to change the momentum a little bit," said Hendricks. "It feels good to help the team out in any way I can. I thought we played a good team game tonight. Power play was good, penalty kill was good, it was a good team win."
After picking up an assist on Hendricks' fourth of the season, Andrew Copp would get his second point of the night in the second period, when his pass was one-timed on net by fellow Michigan alum Jacob Trouba. Marko Dano tipped the Trouba blast between the legs of Jones, increasing the Jets lead to 2-0.
Video: SJS@WPG: Dano tips home shot from Trouba
"I feel like I've been around the puck a little bit more. Taking some good routes, and I feel confident with the puck. I've been rewarded a bit the last couple games," said Copp, who also had an assist on Friday. "I feel like I was doing all the right things before, but now it's starting to come together, and I'm making a few more cleaner plays. I like where my game is headed."
The Sharks would take a bite out of that lead though. After the Jets killed off over a minute of a 5-on-3 San Jose power play, Logan Couture teed off on a Joe Pavelski pass and placed it just inside the post on Connor Hellebuyck's glove side.
Couture's 16th of the season was the first goal the Jets penalty kill had allowed since Dec. 23.
But the Jets power play would answer back. Myers slap pass was deflected in the high slot by captain Blake Wheeler, and the tipped puck found its way on to the blade of Perreault, who slid it under Jones for his 11th of the campaign.
"I feel like we've been able to find lanes and get a lot of pucks on goal," said Perreault. "A lot of the goals we score, just like tonight's goal, it was just kind of a rebound, just bang pucks around the crease. That's what makes a good power play, when you can find those rebounds around the net.
Video: SJS@WPG: Perreault pots smooth power-play goal
"(The power play units) push each other. We do it in practice. It's always a challenge to see who will score more goals. When we come to games, it's the same thing. I think it makes the unit better."
The Jets then shut the door in the third, and are now 20-0-1 when leading after two periods, as Perreault's empty net goal with 3:12 left extended the lead to 4-1, where it would stay until the final buzzer.
"I feel like this year, better than in the past few years for sure, we've been really good at holding on to leads," said Perreault. "We did that again tonight, so it was a huge win, and we're happy."
The Jets now head on the road for a three-game road trip before the five-day player break. The trip starts Tuesday with a rematch against the Buffalo Sabres, who the Jets beat 4-3 back on Friday.
Adam Lowry took the warm-up, but didn't play against the Sharks. Head coach Paul Maurice listed the forward as day-to-day with an upper-body injury, but won't rule him out for the road trip opener in Buffalo.
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
Jack Roslovic stepped in and played 7:57 in Lowry's absence, including 1:21 on the power play.
"Jack at the right wing, really smart game. To the point he was on the ice at the end of the game when it was tight. I was real pleased with the way he played tonight," said Maurice. "There were three plays in the neutral zone where he had to make a read, and he made it perfectly, and he covered off a guy who had made a mistake that one time. We know he's a smart player."