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(Thursday, February 27th)
Final Score: Winnipeg 3, Phoenix 2 (SO)
Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Olli Jokinen scored in the fourth round of the shootout to send the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break.
After the first four shooters missed to open the shootout, Devin Setoguchi ripped a shot past Mike Smith's blocker to put the Jets on top, but Antoine Vermette answered for Phoenix at the other end.
Jokinen then flipped a wrister over Smith's stick-side before Ondrej Pavelec poke-checked the puck away from Mike Ribeiro to lift the Jets to victory.
Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler both lit the lamp in regulation, while Pavelec posted 34 saves prior to the shootout for Winnipeg, which has won four of its last six games.
"That one was kind of a slugfest for the puck all night," Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said. "That's the way our games are going to look now. If you can get two points on teams that are scratching and clawing, at this point, we're taking it."
Martin Hanzal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each scored for the Coyotes, who saw Smith stop 27 shots in dropping their second straight game.
"I thought we deserved to win that game," Smith said. "You know a couple bad breaks and goals in our end, a couple posts, and that's the difference."
Ekman-Larsson opened the scoring 12:17 into the game when he rifled a shot from the high slot that whizzed past Pavelec, but Wheeler was credited with his 23rd of the season under three minutes later to tie the score.
On the play, Wheeler charged down the left side and cut in front of the cage before having the puck poked off his stick. As the puck trickled to the right corner, Dustin Byfuglien appeared to trip Smith in front of the net. However, no call was made, and with Smith distracted, Wheeler's quick shot from outside the right circle slid into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
With Winnipeg on the power play late in the second, Phoenix defenseman Zbynek Michalek tried to clear the puck from behind his own net with a backhand, but Little picked off the pass on the doorstep and lifted a shot high over Smith for a 2-1 lead at 18:01.
However, after Winnipeg's Jim Slater was sent off for hooking 5:08 into the third, Hanzal buried a rebound from in front to tie the game with 13:20 to play.
Phoenix outshot the Jets 5-1 in overtime, but was unable to push anything past Pavelec to force a shootout.
Winnipeg's Evander Kane returned from a six-game absence due to a hand infection and registered 20:30 of ice time ... Winnipeg went 1-for-4 on the power play, while Phoenix finished 1-for-5 ... Ribeiro recorded his 27th assist of the season.
02/28 00:19:22 ET
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