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Special teams push Jets to victory in Ottawa

Brossoit makes 27 saves; Ehlers records 300th career NHL point

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

OTTAWA - Special teams have been a strength for the Winnipeg Jets this season and on Wednesday night, they produced two goals to break a 1-1 tie with the Ottawa Senators and turn it into a 3-2 victory.

Mathieu Perreault scored a power play marker 2:07 into the final period as the Jets power play went 1-for-3, and Trevor Lewis potted his second shorthanded goal of the season 7:32 later - which proved to be the eventual game-winner.

"It was a tight game throughout the whole thing," said Lewis. "I thought we kept it simple, got on the forecheck and when we did, we got pucks back and had our chances. It definitely was a big win for us." 

Mark Scheifele had the other goal for the Jets (26-14-3), his 16th of the season, which helped the Jets tie the game in the first period. It extended Scheifele's point streak to five games and Nikolaj Ehlers - who picked up the primary assist with a sweet backhand pass - recorded his 300th NHL point.

He's the fourth Danish born NHLer to hit that mark, behind Frans Nielsen (473), Mikkel Boedker (327), and Lars Eller (312).

"When you look at the improvement in his game in one year, he's a different player now," head coach Paul Maurice said of Ehlers. "He creates so much open ice, makes a lot of smart plays. He's such a positive personality.

"I'm really happy for him, but he should be acknowledged for the improvement in his game. He's really come a long way."

Video: WPG@OTT: Scheifele deposits Ehlers one-timer into net

Nick Paul opened the scoring for the Senators 1:19 into the first, when he took advantage of a miscommunication at the Jets blue line between Neal Pionk and Derek Forbort. Paul went in alone on Laurent Brossoit - making his first start since Mar. 27 - and beat him on the stick side.

While the Jets are a team that prides themselves on bounce back efforts - they're now 11-1-2 following a regulation loss this season - the same could be said for Brossoit.

The 28-year-old had lost consecutive starts for the first time this season coming into Wednesday's game. He made 27 saves and was rock solid for the Jets the rest of the way.

"There was a lot of good things that I had been working towards that I did well in the last game, but then obviously there were a couple brain farts," Brossoit said. "I took the good, and left the bad, and worked on the details from then until this game. I was feeling good leading up to this one."

That lead lasted all of 2:05, as Ehlers curled up on the left-wing boards and sent a backhand pass through the seam to Scheifele in the slot. Scheifele made no mistake from there, scoring his 16th of the season, tying the game at one.

It stayed that way until early in the third period when the Jets power play put the visitors ahead. Perreault picked up the puck and moved into the right circle, paused to look for a pass, then wired a wrist shot past Matt Murray. Perreault's ninth of the campaign sent the water bottle flying and gave the Jets four power play goals in the last three games.

Video: WPG@OTT: Perreault rips go-ahead PPG home top-shelf

His leg kick also earned him some style points.

"That was pretty sweet," Perreault said with a grin, adding he couldn't remember the last time he kicked his leg like that before lighting the lamp with a wicked wrist shot. "Hitting the water bottle like that doesn't happen really often, so the sound that it makes is pretty cool."

Special teams continued to pay dividends for the Jets in the third, as Lewis added to the lead with a shorthanded marker at 9:39 of the final period. Lewis chased down a cleared puck and got in on a partial break and beat Murray over the glove for his third goal of the season - and second shorthanded goal.

"I didn't know if Murray was going to come out there, I just skated and he stayed in and I just took it to the net, fortunate to bury it," said Lewis, who couldn't resist adding his own commentary to Perreault's goal.

"I think it kind of held the D off there with the leg kick," Lewis said. "That's a heck of a shot there."

Video: WPG@OTT: Lewis nets shorthanded goal off the rush

Ottawa added another goal with 10 seconds left on a 6-on-3 advantage, the lone power play marker the Senators got in the game.

There isn't exactly a chapter in any goaltender's handbook for defending that kind of situation.

"There is an extra guy screening you, so it makes it a little bit more challenging for sure," said Brossoit. "I don't think there is a set template or a rule or really anything that you could do that's a staple. You just have to grind it."

Next up, the Jets will take on the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night to complete the five-game road trip.

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