Game 56: Manitoba misery
Devin Setoguchi scored twice, including the eventual game-winner on a delayed penalty with just 2:56 remaining in regulation, to lift the Jets to a 4-3 win over the slumping Canucks.
Zach Bogosian and Michael Frolik also scored for Winnipeg, while Alexander Edler, Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison had the markers for Vancouver, who dropped their fourth decision in their last five outings and concluded the month of January with a dismal 4-9-2 record.
The loss was also the first for the Canucks in three meetings to the reincarnated Jets since they relocated from Atlanta for the start of the 2011.12 season.
Setoguchi's second tally of the game was the final dagger into the heart of a Canucks team that, ironically, showed very little heart to start the game.
The Jets were up 2-0 before the game was seven minutes old with Bogosian and Setoguchi pouncing on an unprepared Canucks' team out of the gate but Vancouver did manage to cut the lead to one with a rare power play marker by Edler just past the midway point of the opening stanza.
Kesler would get the Canucks briefly back on even terms at 4:48 of the second period only to have Frolik reclaim the Jets' lead 113 seconds later. Garrison would help the Canucks equalize the game for a second time at 11:50 of the third period before Setoguchi put the game out of reach for good.
Friday's final score actually flattered the Canucks, who could have been out of it much earlier had it not been for the efforts of netminder Eddie Lack.
The former Manitoba Moose netminder stopped 30 of 34 shots in his return to the MTS Centre and made several highlight-reel saves in the contest, including denying Dustin Byfuglien on a 2-on-1 rush early in the second period and going to post-to-post to turn aside Mark Scheifele on a Winnipeg power play also in the middle frame.
Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves on 26 shots in the win for the Jets, who moved to within six points of the Canucks in the Western Conference standings.
The Canucks continue their five-game road trip on Monday in Detroit.
LONG-AWAITED HOMECOMING: Winnipeg-native Dale Weise had a roller coaster ride of emotions heading into this game. Weise, according to The Province writer Jason Botchford, was informed yesterday he'd be sitting out Friday's contest. However, with Tom Sestito sidelined due to a hip injury, Weise finally got the opportunity to play in his hometown for the first time as an NHLer. He finished with one shot in 4:56 of ice-time.
MOOSE TRACKS: Despite the loss, it was a productive night for several members of the Canucks who once called the MTS Centre their home rink when they were members of the Manitoba Moose. In total, six former Moose members of the Canucks skated in Friday's contest including goaltender Eddie Lack. The ex-Moose combined for two goals and five points.
NOTES AND NUMBERS: Yannick Weber lasted just 3:25 in the game before leaving with an undisclosed injury in the first period... Friday marked the final game of head coach John Tortorella's suspension. The Canucks went 2-4-0 in his absence... Edler's power play marker was the first man-advantage goal for the Canucks in six games... Garrison's goal was his first in 11 games... Burrows' point was his first in 15 games... The Jets improved to 7-2-0 under new head coach Paul Maurice.