Video: Little scores two as Jets top Senators, 5-3
WINNIPEG - It was another red-letter day for this red-hot power play.
All to set up one brilliant finish.
Marko Dano broke a 3-3 tie with 6:48 to play in the third period as the Jets rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 in preseason action Wednesday at Bell MTS Place.
On a 2-on-1 that developed in the neutral zone, Dano finished off a beautiful feed from Nic Petan to score his first of the preseason and vault the Jets their second win of the exhibition campaign.
Petan, Dustin Byfuglien and Bryan Little scored the first three - all power-play markers - to help the Jets overcome three separate Ottawa leads.
The Jets have now scored 12 PPGs on only 37 chances this preseason.
Video: OTT@WPG: Dano finishes two-on-one to put Jets ahead
Little found the empty net with 4.5 seconds left, after Connor Hellebuyck made a key save and Matt Hendricks chipped in with two huge blocked shots, to preserve the victory.
"He says the right things; he's got a feel for the game, for what players need to hear when they're coming to the bench," said Head Coach Paul Maurice. "He's just a really good pro, and he's just a hard, grinding man. He's going to block shots and if it's with his face, so be it. He's a good example for the other players."
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
Hendricks finished the night with the blocks, two shots, a team-leading three hits and was 7-for-11 (64%) in the faceoff circle.
As a team, the Jets held a good Senators team to only 18 shots on goal. Winnipeg's focus on improving its defensive game this year appears to be paying dividends early.
"I thought it was a really good effort from the whole team," Little said. "They had some skilled players in their lineup, but I thought we did a good job taking the game to them, for the most part.:"
It all started with a response - a big, big goal after the Senators opened up a 3-1 lead.
Just nine seconds into a 5-on-3 - and with only 10 ticks left in the second period - Byfuglien wired one home from the top of zone to make it a one-goal game entering the third. Then, on a 4-on-3 midway through the final frame, Little briefly fumbled the puck in the high slot before collecting it, changing the angle and rifling a shot high over Ottawa goalie Mike Condon's right shoulder.
Video: OTT@WPG: Little scores power-play goal, ties game
No. 56 did the rest.
On Dano, Maurice said he got better as the game went on, and that he's looking for "speed" and strength along the wall if he's going to look up a job before next Wednesday's home opener.
"He's a powerful man and he's got a good set of hands. Speed is something that we're constantly looking to improve so he can get to those places faster."
Tonight, Dano was parked in front of the net on the top power-play unit, using his 210-pound frame as wrecking ball in and around the blue paint.
He was thorn in Ottawa's defence all night.
The Senators took a 2-1 lead at 7:26 of the second after the Jets evened the score late in the first. After Kyle Connor turned the puck over the neutral zone, the recently drafted Alex Formenton broke in alone and went bar down on Hellebuyck to restore the Sens' one-goal lead.
Kyle Turris helped the Sens open up a two-goal lead on a delayed penalty with three-and-a-half minutes left in the period. With the Jets running around, unable to get possession and stop play, Winnipeg native Mark Stone delivered a beautiful pass to the near circle, and Turris made no mistake in hitting the yawning cage.
It was all Jets from that point forward.
Ottawa's Bobby Ryan drew first blood just into 2:33 into the first period after getting a bounce off an otherwise innocent play. Ryan posted up at the far boards and drifted a shot that skipped off the ice about five feet out, beating Hellebuyck under the arm for the game's opening score.
The Jets answered back with - what else? - a power-play goal at 19:49. With Dano parked in front, Josh Morrissey unloaded a one-timer that Petan got a piece of en route, beating Condon clean over the shoulder for No. 19's first of the season.
Video: OTT@WPG: Petan redirects Morrissey's shot to tie game
Asked about the goal post-game, Petan wasn't even sure if it was rightfully his.
But he'll take it.
"I've always liked playing against good players. I was going against Turris for some of the game tonight and I knew I had to be on my game."
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com