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Jets get unexpected offense to defeat Devils

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Winnipeg Jets received some needed production from a few of their primary offensive weapons Monday in a 3-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Mark Scheifele scored his first goal in 25 games, Evander Kane connected for his first goal in 12, and Devin Setoguchi scored into an empty net, his first goal in eight games for the Jets (11-11-4), who opened a six-game road trip through the Eastern Conference.

Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec was stellar earning his 100th career win and first in four starts. Pavelec (100-108-31) made 25 saves, including 10 in the second period, to win his sixth game in 12 appearances against the Devils. Pavelec was 0-2-1 in his previous three starts, allowing nine goals.

"Of course it's important how you start a road trip, but it's only one win and we have a lot of hockey in front of us, so we've got to focus on the next one," Pavelec said. "We can take the positives from this game and play the same way the next one."

The Jets play the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday. The Devils (9-10-5), who lost their second straight, will host the Carolina Hurricanes.

"I thought we were resilient in holding our position," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "Some shifts were nerve-wracking. When you get scored upon, you sometimes lose confidence and expect bad things to happen, but we remained composed as minutes wore down from eight to the empty-net goal.

"I thought Pavelec had another really strong game, which is what we need since all our games are fairly close."

Noel acknowledged the victory was the result of an entire team effort. Defenseman Mark Stuart had five blocked shots, and the Jets won 58 percent of the faceoffs.

"We battled really hard, blocked a lot of shots, and scored first and that helped," Pavelec said. "We played a really good road game. We gave them few scoring chances but it's still something we need to work on; we can't be satisfied."

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has lost two in a row after five straight wins. Brodeur, who was pulled in favor of an extra attacker with more than a minute remaining, made 19 saves. Setoguchi scored an empty-net goal with 27.1 seconds remaining.

"We had a lot of chances," Brodeur said. "I can't say we didn't do enough, but we didn't score goals that we needed to."

The Devils have scored four goals over the past three games (1-2-0).

New Jersey broke through on Pavelec midway through the third period to pull within 2-1 when Patrik Elias had a marvelous backhand redirect from the high slot. Andy Greene took the shot from the left point that Elias tipped for his fifth goal of the season and second in two games at 10:44.

"We've got to score," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We scored one goal in San Jose [in a 2-1 loss on Saturday] and one goal [Monday]. That's a game if we pop two or three in the net and win, we're feeling great about ourselves."

The Jets opened a 2-0 lead when Kane scored his seventh of the season 7:16 into the second period. Two seconds earlier, a video replay was needed to determine that a Kane shot was stopped by Brodeur and didn't cross the goal line. Following the review, Olli Jokinen won an offensive-zone draw against Travis Zajac that banked off the half boards to Kane at the top of the left circle. Kane swept a shot short side on Brodeur.

The Devils nearly pared the margin while shorthanded with seven minutes left in the second when Elias took a pass from Adam Henrique and lined a shot that rang off the right post.

"We had some chances, we were skating," Elias said. "Obviously you cannot play from behind all the time."

With less than three minutes left in the period, Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas collided with Kane at the Winnipeg blue line and sustained a charley horse in his right thigh. He returned for the third.

"He jumped to try to avoid me and his knee went right in my quad," Gelinas said. "A little stinger in the leg; it could be worse."

Winnipeg opened a 1-0 lead when Scheifele scored his first goal since the season opener from the right hash over the glove of Brodeur at 16:01. Michael Frolik took a pass from Dustin Byfuglien and skated down his left wing before sending a hard pass to Scheifele after crossing the blue line.

"I definitely watched Brodeur a lot growing up, so to score on him was pretty exciting," Scheifele said. "I thought our whole line [with Frolik and Matt Halischuk] worked really hard to get that goal."

Byfuglien, third among NHL defensemen with 20 points, has five goals and eight points in the past five games.

Pavelec, who could be the starting goalie for the Czech Republic at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, made his best save in the first period; with eight minutes remaining he smothered a hard wrist shot by Jacob Josefson from the inside arc of the left circle. Josefson, who does not have a point this season, gained the puck in stride off a feed from Ryan Carter.

"It just wasn't our night, I guess," Devils forward Jaromir Jagr said. "Sometimes it happens. You win some you shouldn't, then you lose some you should be in the game."


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