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Frolik's shorthanded goal lifts Jets past Sabres

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Winnipeg Jets are finding ways to win on the road.

Michael Frolik's shorthanded goal with 5:40 left in the second period helped the Jets to a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Wednesday.

The win was the second in as many nights for the Jets, who are 8-4-2 on the road.

"It wasn't the prettiest game by any standards, but we had a couple huge penalty kills, the power play came through again," Jets forward Bryan Little said. "It was ugly, but we'll take it."

Frolik beat goalie Jhonas Enroth with a backhand wraparound after Sabres defenseman Andre Benoit turned over the puck. The goal, Frokik's fifth, came after the Jets' Adam Lowry was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for boarding Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta with 5:54 left in the second.

"I think we wanted to have hard pressure to kill the [penalty] and I tried to get in on him and I think he missed the pass a little bit and it bounced on him," Frolik said. "I just kind of read that and tried to wrap it around. I think the goalie thought I was going to go all the way around and I just tried the short side. I didn't even know it went in for a second, but it did, and I was happy."

The loss ended the Sabres' three-game winning streak.

Benoit was a late addition to the Sabres lineup. He replaced Tyler Myers, who was a late scratch because of a lower-body injury. Myers was struck in the hand by a slap shot against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

"That shorthanded goal against us really set us back," Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. "We couldn't get our power play going. We practice it every day, and it didn't look like we did at all."

The Jets killed all four Sabres power plays, including Lowry's major.

"We rolled eight guys up front, but you have eight guys that you feel comfortable killing penalties with. So that's part of what's exciting for our team," Maurice said. "Confidence is everything. You start to see a little confidence on our power play; we're moving around better. But our penalty kill has been good. Even this stretch where we've given up some goals, it's been just about as consistent all year, and that's confidence."

Four of the Jets' past seven have been one-goal games. They've played eight consecutive games decided by one or two goals and are 4-3-1. The wins may not have been by the textbook, but Winnipeg is happy to take them.

"It's what we're good at," Maurice said of winning ugly. "That's the kind of people that we have. They're a highly competitive group, and we can suffer some adversity over the course of the game and manage to survive."

Little gave the Jets a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 3:41 into the game. With Kaleta serving a minor penalty for roughing, Little took a pass from Jacob Trouba and snapped a wrist shot past Enroth up high for his eighth goal. Little has scored in three consecutive games.

"We've been in a lot of these one-goal games this year, and it's a place where we're comfortable with a one-goal lead going into the third, and it was a tight one tonight, and that's our kind of game," Little said. "We're not going out there and making pretty plays all night; we're going to win some ugly ones."

Chris Stewart cut the Jets lead to 2-1 with a breakaway goal 5:30 into the third period. Marcus Foligno's block on a Paul Postma shot sprung Stewart. He deked and beat Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec with a backhand for his second goal of the season.

"That first period-and-a-half or so, I thought our hands were handling that puck like a grenade," Nolan said. "It just kept bouncing and bouncing. That third period we played the way we have to in order to be successful."

The Sabres pushed back in the third and outshot the Jets 10-7, but they weren't able to get the tying goal.

"Every time the game is like that, something's coming," Pavelec said. "It's never like that for 60 minutes. We knew that if they played like that for two periods, they're coming. We knew it. They had a few chances. I'm happy that they scored only goal. We found a way. The guys helped me in the first two periods, and it was up to me to help them in the third."

Enroth made 24 saves; Pavelec stopped 19 shots.

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