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game recap

Jets rally to give Ondrej Pavelec win in return

After Coyotes score on first shot, Winnipeg ends losing streak

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves in his first NHL game of the season to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Arizona Coyotes 6-3 at MTS Centre on Wednesday.
 
Pavelec started his first NHL game since April 9 after being called up from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. He allowed two first-period goals before Winnipeg scored five in a row in the second and third periods.
 
"I just like how the team responded," Pavelec said. "I think as a goalie, you get called up from the AHL, you can't ask more from the team in front of him. I think the guys battled so hard. I think they realized the goalie would be struggling in the first period. It's a nice comeback and was nice to get the win in the first game, that's for sure."

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Jets highlights

 

Jets coach Paul Maurice said, "Going to the minors at this point in his career is a humbling thing, but he figured out how to handle it right, got himself right back up here."

Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Andrew Copp, Joel Armia, Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets (21-23-4), who ended a four-game losing streak.

Josh Jooris, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun scored for the Coyotes (13-25-6). Mike Smith was pulled after he allowed six goals on 35 shots. Louis Domingue made four saves in relief.

Jooris scored on the first shot Pavelec faced, making it 1-0 at 2:49 of the first period. Jooris was playing in place of forward Martin Hanzal, who left the Coyotes to deal with a family matter.

Video: ARI@WPG: Jooris fires quick wrister to open scoring

Little tied the game 1-1 at 3:36, redirecting Josh Morrissey's point shot past Smith. Ekman-Larsson gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead at 8:50 on a 5-on-3 power play, putting his wrist shot from the top of the circle high past Pavelec's glove hand.

"We responded well," Wheeler said. "The first period didn't go the way we wanted it to. We just stuck with it and kept battling."

The Jets scored twice in 1:39 early in the second period. Wheeler finished a tic-tac-toe play to tie it 2-2 at 3:03, and Copp gave the Jets a 3-2 lead at 4:42.

Video: ARI@WPG: Wheeler taps in Perreault's dish at doorstep

Armia made it 4-2 at 12:49, tipping Shawn Matthias' centering pass past Smith.

"In the second period, they came out real strong and we couldn't match their ability to win puck battles," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "You win puck battles which allows you to play in the offensive zone. We lost too many battles in front of our net and they ended up in goals."

Trouba scored at 7:42 of the third period to make it 5-2, and Ehlers made it 6-2 1:17 later. Chychrun scored at 14:42 to make it 6-3.

 

Goal of the game

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien made a stretch pass to Matthias at the Coyotes blue line. Matthias skated into the zone and found Armia, who was skating down the right side.

Video: ARI@WPG: Armia races to crease for tip-in goal in 2nd

 

Save of the game

Coyotes forward Brendan Perlini redirected Christian Dvorak's centering pass, but Pavelec got across his crease to make the left-pad save to preserve a 3-2 lead in the second period.

 

Highlight of the game

Pavelec had to stretch across his crease to get the paddle of his stick on Radim Vrbata's shot, deflecting it over the net.

"It was kind of my fault, I couldn't hold the rebound," Pavelec said. "Lucky save. It's nice to have that save, that's for sure. It feels really good. But we were up already 4-2 and it just [was a] lucky save."

Video: ARI@WPG: Pavelec robs Vrbata with amazing stick save

 

Unsung performance of the game

Byfuglien had two assists, including on the game-winning goal, was plus-3 and had two hits and a blocked shot in 25:33.

 

They said it

"Oh, it's early, eh. This is six games in nine nights for our hockey team here tonight, so we're going to take the day off (Thursday), but he's feeling good, we're feeling good, I probably won't be changing a whole lot." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice on if Ondrej Pavelec will start Saturday

 

"They picked up their level and we didn't match it. They had a goal early, and once they had a goal early they shut their momentum and they kept going. We had a couple opportunities, Pavelec made a big save for them to keep it 3-2 or 4-2 or whatever. They seemed to get more jump off of that and we [have] to be better. We [have] to find ways to compete better." -- Coyotes captain Shane Doan

 

Need to know

The Coyotes are 2-11-1 in their past 14 games. … Arizona forward Alexander Burmistrov had an assist in his 300th NHL game. … The Jets had 14 players with at least one point. … Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford had an assist in his 700th NHL game.

 

What's next

Coyotes: At the Minnesota Wild on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, FS-A+, NHL.TV)

Jets: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Jets erase early deficit to beat the Coyotes, 6-3

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