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Pavelec injured in Jets' win against Coyotes

by Patrick Williams /

WINNIPEG -- Chris Thorburn scored shorthanded in the third period to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at MTS Centre on Saturday.

Thorburn won a race with defenseman Michael Stone to a loose puck and pushed Stone aside before backhanding his third goal of the season past Coyotes goaltender Anders Lindback with 8:51 remaining.

Winnipeg (10-9-2) won its second consecutive game and finishes a three-game homestand Monday against the Colorado Avalanche. Arizona (10-9-1) finished its four-game road trip 1-3-0.

"I'm just proud of our team the way we battled," Thorburn said. "There were times where things weren't pretty, but we stayed with it and came up with two points."

Jets coach Paul Maurice praised Thorburn, who plays a variety of bottom-six roles for the Jets.

"He does the same things whether he plays three minutes or 15 minutes," Maurice said. "He's such a good pro here. He has been very, very consistent. His game has been good for us all [season].

"We'll take [that] goal from anybody, but it's really great when you can get a heart-and-soul guy scores a goal like that. (It was) just all effort."

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec left after the second period because of a lower-body injury. Arizona captain Shane Doan collided with Pavelec while driving to the net with 4:46 left in the second. Doan received a minor penalty for goaltender interference. Pavelec made 20 saves on 22 shots.

Maurice said that he will not have an update on Pavelec's status until Sunday. Multiple media outlets reported via Twitter that Pavelec left MTS Centre on crutches.

"I [was] trying to get to the net," said Doan, who was pushed by Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart before crashing into Pavelec. "I know I dove for the puck or it hit my skate, and I kind of lost my balance. I got pushed. I was almost on the ice when we hit.

"I just said [to the Jets] that I really didn't mean to run into him. Once I was going down, there's not much I can do there. Obviously it wasn't intentional."

Michael Hutchinson earned the win after replacing Pavelec at the start of the third period. He made seven saves.

"The team did a great job battling in front of me and making my game pretty easy," Hutchinson said. "I didn't get too much work, which is always nice when you're coming in cold."

Mark Scheifele gave the Jets a 1-0 lead 6:50 into the game on his third goal in the past two games. But Doan answered on the power play 2:40 later, and another goal on the man-advantage from Connor Murphy put the Coyotes up 2-1 at 15:49. Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien evened the game at 2-2 midway through the second period.

A strong Jets forecheck set up their first goal. Stone had to force a pass to center Antoine Vermette along the boards, where Scheifele stripped him of the puck. The Jets center moved into the slot before putting a wrist shot on net that trickled between Lindback's pads for his eighth goal.

Doan's tying goal continued his hot pace. After scoring three goals in his first 15 games, Doan has three in his past five. Doan is five goals away from tying Dale Hawerchuk's franchise record of 379 goals.

Arizona's power play started the game ranked 29th in the NHL, but it has at least one goal in each of the past three games.

Byfuglien's sixth goal tied the game 2-2 at 12:48 of the second period. Drifting into the high slot, he took Andrew Copp's soft pass and put a low shot blocker-side past Lindback.

Byfuglien's goal came one minute after the Jets failed to convert on a power play. Winnipeg ended a 1-for-29 power-play slide against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, but it continues to struggle.

"[Byfuglien's goal] broke the tension of our power play," Maurice said. "We had just come off, and your best players [were] on, and there's nothing going on. Byfuglien's goal allowed us to forget the power play."

Lindback made 20 saves.

"That's a save I've got to make to be able to win this game," Lindback said of Thorburn's goal.

The Coyotes begin a three-game homestand Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks. Arizona coach Dave Tippett said Smith is day-to-day and will be re-evaluated Sunday. He hopes to have Smith at practice Monday.

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