WINNIPEG - Turnovers are going to happen during a National Hockey League season. When they occur, it sure feels good to atone shortly after.
Following a misfire that lead to Ottawa's second goal, Neal Pionk assisted on Patrik Laine's second tally of the night - a nice point shot tipped home by the Finn. Ultimately, that marker was the difference as Winnipeg skated to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Bell MTS Place. Pionk finished the afternoon with plenty of highlights in his one goal, two assist performance. His goal was his first ever marker on home ice since he joined the Jets in the off-season.
"It wasn't even that I got embarrassed on the turnover, I let L.B. (Brossoit) down. I owe him a steak dinner I think," smiled Pionk.
"You know that happens sometimes. It just went off the heel of my stick. I talked to Scheif and he was open. I think it was the right play, it just went off the heel and and you just have to rebound from there."
Video: POSTGAME | Neal Pionk
That's exactly what Pionk did with the Jets on the power play 31 seconds after Boedker scored. The 24-year-old faked a slap shot and then wristed the puck towards the net and Patrik Laine redirected behind Craig Anderson restoring the two goal Winnipeg lead.
"It was a big joke on the bench, it got a lot of laughs," chuckled Pionk.
"If I can make the boys laugh then that's fine too."
One of the reasons why Pionk owes Brossoit a steak dinner might be because the Jets netminder was looking for his first win since December 10th. Like his teammates, Brossoit has deserved a much better fate especially after solid performances during his last three starts (5-4 loss at Boston, 4-3 loss at Columbus and 2-1 loss vs. Boston).
Paul Maurice wasn't going to let a mistake take away from how well Pionk has played lately.
"He's been fantastic so you can almost laugh about that right when it happens. You're not worried about his play, it's just a bad break," said Maurice.
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
"The defence have done a real good job here since the (player) break. They've got more energy, better legs."