Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Mar 30 2015, Page 25

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - March 30, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE D1 Canada shuts out Russia / D4 SPORTS SPORTS EDITOR: STEVE LYONS 204- 697- 7285 I SPORTS@ FREEPRESS. MB. CA I WINNIPEGFREEPRESS. COM MONDAY, MARCH 30, 2015 D 1 Hometown boy Jonathan Toews, the proud Winnipegger, slammed the dagger home with 31 seconds left, tipping a Nik Hjalmarsson shot for the winner. GAME BREAKERS Thanks, Stripes Patrick Sharp was gifted one from the hockey gods in the third, gobbling up a loose puck after Toby Enstrom and a linesman collided before beating Ondrej Pavelec on a breakaway. H OW many lategame heartbreaks can a team take and survive? We’ll have the answer in 12 days. Sunday night’s conclusion at the MTS Centre makes the survival part all the tougher for the Winnipeg Jets, losing 4- 3 to the Chicago Blackhawks on a deflected goal by Jonathan Toews with just 30.8 seconds left in regulation time. The Jets had leads of 2- 1 and 3- 2 in this pond- hockey- ish Central Division tilt, but for the third time since Christmas, watched valuable points go out the window in the dying moments of the third period. Rewind to Jan. 5 here against San Jose, when the Sharks scored with five seconds to play to win 3- 2. With 1: 03 to go in a game March 10 at St. Louis, Barret Jackman netted a floater from just outside the blue- line to shoot down the Jets 5- 4. And then Sunday happened. In addition to the last- minute pain, the result was teed up by Patrick Sharp’s unassisted goal in the third period at 6: 27, making it 3- 3. Unassisted that is, ignoring the tangle Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom found himself in with linesman Don Henderson, who inadvertently relieved Enstrom of his stick in the neutral zone. That paved the way for an unimpeded Sharp to beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. “ I don’t know what to tell you,” said Paul Maurice, the Jets coach, who gave a quiet- but- steaming, 90- second news conference after his team dropped to 39- 25- 12. “ You saw what happened. I’m sure they’re going to feel that the linesman feels worse than anybody in the building but I would highly doubt that.” Asked if he was angry — his body language certainly suggested it — Maurice added: “ It’s like an injury. You’re angry when it happens but there isn’t anything you can do about it.” What it means The defeat temporarily scuttled the Jets’ bid Sunday to solidify their Western Conference grip on the second wild- card spot. This morning, with 90 points and just six games until the finish line, they wake up to find the Los Angeles Kings two points behind them in that chase. Winnipeg remains one point back of the Vancouver Canucks, five back of Minnesota and six back of the Hawks, who improved to 96 points at 45- 24- 6. This season, the Jets won all three games between the teams in Chicago and the Hawks won both in Winnipeg, the earlier one 2- 1 in overtime. Unlucky is a good word The Jets had a pair of goals from Dustin Byfuglien, both on the power play and a short- handed marker by Blake Wheeler as they outshot the Hawks 34- 24. But Chicago certainly made the most of its shots, apart from another handful of chances they bumbled or shot wide. “ I thought we had the better of the play,” Wheeler said. “ It was just one of those things. We’ve just got to deal with it.” Asked if his team was unlucky, Wheeler bristled. “ What do you think?” he said. “ It looked like it. It felt like it. We worked our tails off tonight. It’s what we do every night. Up 3- 2 with not a whole lot of time left in the game, we’re feeling pretty good about ourselves. Momentum definitely shifted on that goal a little bit. It’s definitely not easy to bounce back from those types of situations but we’re going to have to find a way. “ I feel bad for ( Enstrom) and I feel mad that has to happen. It shouldn’t happen that way, but it’s part of the game.” Perreault returns Mathieu Perreault returned from the injured list, having missed 16 games, and looked to be well on his way to good form. Maurice used Perreault on the fourth line Sunday night for seven minutes 13 seconds of five- on- five time and another 1: 27 on the power play. tim. campbell@ freepress. mb. ca JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews celebrates his deflection for the game- winning goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec as Jets D- man Tyler Myers looks on. Another late blow kills Jets Toews’ marker in final minute a heartbreaker By Tim Campbell MORE JETS D 3 JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Mark Scheifele ( 55) and Dustin Byfuglien celebrate Byfuglien’s second goal. D_ 01_ Mar- 30- 15_ FP_ 01. indd D1 3/ 29/ 15 10: 51: 57 PM

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