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Jets fire 34 shots but fall 4-1 to Edmonton

Ehlers gets lone goal for Winnipeg; Mason stops 21 in Jets debut

by Ryan Dittrick @ryandittrick / WinnipegJets.com

Video: POSTGAME | Oilers 4 Jets 1 - F

WINNIPEG - That sound you hear is the unmistakeable tone of a frozen rubber puck battering a two-and-a-half inch wide, hollow iron pipe.

The Winnipeg Jets heard plenty of it - on five separate occasions, in fact - in Wednesday's 4-1 preseason loss to the Edmonton Oilers, who admittedly caught a few breaks along way.

Nikolaj Ehlers had Winnipeg's lone goal and Steve Mason made 21 saves.

With the loss, the Jets fall to 0-1-1 in the preseason.

"We look like we're two games into a season," said Head Coach Paul Maurice. "We've got a lot of guys working the puck around a little bit trying to find their hands. Our offensive game isn't something we spend a whole lot of time on right now, but we'll get it dialled in."

For the second straight game, the Jets opened the scoring with a power-play goal early in the first period. Back after missing 71 games last year, Tyler Myers made an immediate impact, delivering a beautiful cross-seam pass that found the stick of Ehlers at the side of the net. No. 27 made no mistake, rifling it home for the game's opening tally past Oilers goalie Laurent Brossoit.

Video: EDM@WPG: Ehlers tallies on feed for power-play goal

Myers, meanwhile, finished the night with more than 23-and-a-half minutes of ice time to lead all skaters. It was an impressive return - a healthy reminder of what this player can do, and just how much the team missed him last year.

"It felt great to get back out there," Myers, who was paired with an equally solid Dmitry Kulikov, said afterwards. "My endurance was better than I thought it would be. The first game back it was great to get my legs underneath me and I felt pretty great considering."

"I like the way he moved. He skated well and had good reads," Maurice added. "It's been a long time since he's played in a hockey game… The first thing I wanted to do was get him through the game; get him enough minutes, build some confidence in terms of how he feels, and he handled it just fine."

Video: POSTGAME | Dmitry Kulikov

The Jets were all over the Oilers throughout the opening frame, firing 11 shots on goal and hitting the post twice on back-to-back shifts early.

Undeterred, the Oilers took over in the front half of the middle frame, scoring twice in just 13 seconds to grab their first lead of the night.

First, newcomer Jussi Jokinen made a terrific backdoor pass to Mark Letestu, who fended off a check and buried the feed in tight to even the score on the power play at 2:14. Then, on a 2-on-1 after rookie defenceman Sami Niku got caught at the defensive blue line, Zack Kassian made a nice pass to Jujhar Khaira for the tap-in, and suddenly the Jets were on their heels.

Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice

Mark Scheifele tried to get his team back in the game with a strong shift midway through the period, but like Matt Hendricks and Jacob Trouba before him, he was a victim of the goalie's glove-side goalpost.

A maddening fourth post - this time off the stick of Blake Wheeler - came in the final few minutes of the period.

Nothing was going right for the Jets.

The Oilers opened up a two-goal lead at 13:59 as Jokinen kicked the puck past Mason, but with no video review in the preseason, the marker stood and the visitors had a 3-1 lead. Ironically enough, just minutes earlier the Oilers had a goal called back due to the very same violation, but there was no discussion between the officials this time and play continued, causing a smattering of boos from the hometown crowd after the replay was broadcast on the scoreboard.

Like all the others, Mason had no chance on the play as the Oilers orchestrated some pretty passing plays.

Maurice joked during his post-game press conference that the goaltender had about as good a chance of stopping the fourth one (an empty netter) as he did the previous three.

Video: EDM@WPG: Mason extends his pad to deny Rattie

"It was good to get back out there and back in game action," Mason said. "There are some things that need to be cleaned up, but it's good to get the first one out of the way.

"I'll come back, work hard in practice tomorrow and continue to feel better."

Video: POSTGAME | Steve Mason

The Jets fired another 12 shots in the third period, but were unable to beat Nick Ellis, who replaced Brossoit late in the second.

Ellis stopped all 26 shots he faced in just over 26 minutes of action.

Edmonton's Kailer Yamamoto scored into the empty cage with only 5.1 seconds left to seal a 4-1 Oilers victory.  

-- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com

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