WINNIPEG â€” Ryan Getzlaf has seen the future. And it’s on the power play.
Getzlaf’s game-winner on Monday came on the only successful power-play of a penalty-filled game as the Anaheim Ducks edged the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 at MTS Centre.
“Special teams is one of the biggest things in our league now. It’s the way the game is headed,” said Getzlaf. “You’ve got to be sharp in those areas.”
In a game that saw a combined seven power-play opportunities and over 30 minutes in penalties, the Jets and Ducks battled in a physical and chippy affair.
Getzlaf believes that scoring on the power play boils down to hard work.
“Those are things we have to get done as a power play. We won the battle on the wall, I just got in behind them and got a tip on it,” said Getzlaf of his seventh goal of the season.
Logan Shaw scored shorthanded, and Rickard Rakell hit the 20-goal mark as the Ducks (27-14-9) salvaged two points on their two-game road trip.
Andrew Copp and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg (22-24-4).
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped 24 shots and suffered his first loss of the season since the longtime Winnipeg starter was recalled from the American Hockey League a week ago. Ducks No. 2 netminder Jonathan Bernier turned away 30 shots to capture his eighth win of the season.
Winnipeg’s steadily improving power play, entering the night ranked 15th (18.5 per cent) in the NHL, went 0 for 5 against a Ducks penalty kill unit ranked 10th (82.7 per cent) in the league. The Ducks eighth-ranked power play (21.6 per cent) went 1 for 2 against Winnipeg’s struggling 26th-ranked penalty kill (77.4 per cent).
“It was a battle right from the get-go, a physical game,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. “Not really a whole lot of easy ice for either team. It was shift-by-shift.”
Winnipeg’s only lead of the game came early as Copp opened the scoring 2:14 into the first period. Copp’s sixth goal of the season came as the second-year pro was sprung alone at the top of the circle on a feed from Mark Scheifele that Copp wristed stick side past Bernier.
“It was good for the confidence,” said Copp, promoted to the Jets top line alongside Ehlers and Scheifele with the injuries to Patrik Laine and Drew Stafford. “It’s nice to start the game the right way, I guess, for me. Like anybody else, you score one early you feel like you’ve got good jump and ready to go. I thought I just built from there.”
The Jets lead was short-lived as Shaw tied the game less than two minutes later, quickly burying a Cam Fowler rebound on the rush for his second of the season.
Anaheim took the lead just 1:25 after Shaw’s equalizer, as Rakell beat Pavelec between his shoulder and the post on a sharp angle for his fourth goal in his last seven games.
Playing four-on-four, with Winnipeg’s Adam Lowry and Anaheim’s Antoine Vermette both off with coincidental minors, Ehlers raced into the Ducks’ zone and scored his 17th of the season on an impressive near-breakaway and diving effort with 7:07 to play.
Jets forward Mathieu Perreault left the game in the first period and did not return after taking a slash to the upper body. Maurice ruled him out for Tuesday’s game.
The Jets complete a four game home stand with the second of a back-to-back Tuesday night as they host the San Jose Sharks. Following a quick two-game road trip through Minnesota and Winnipeg, the Ducks return home for two games beginning with a date with the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.
Darrin Bauming, The Canadian Press