The Winnipeg Jets put on a classic Paul Maurice showcase Tuesday, lulling the Carolina Hurricanes into a low-scoring game before scoring the game-winning tally with just 63 seconds remaining. Riley Nash scored for the Canes, while Anton Khudobin made 25 saves in the loss.
1. Carolina’s failure to crash the net probably cost them Tuesday’s game. Rebounds were there to be had, as Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec did a good job at making initial stops but spit out several rebounds that just didn't find their way to Carolina’s sticks. If the Hurricanes are going to score more at even strength — they rank 25th in the league with 90 5-on-5 goals in 55 games — they need to take advantage of second chances.
2. For some reason, the Hurricanes’ shot blocking numbers are way down the past few games. Carolina blocked just seven shots (to Winnipeg’s 14) Tuesday, and in the two previous games they had just 16 total blocks (27-10 Canadiens advantage on Jan. 28; 25-6 advantage for the Blues on Jan. 31). You could argue that Carolina is both carrying the play and not taking many penalties, hence the results. But to win in the NHL these days, you need to block shots. Carolina needs to do more of it.
3. Maurice improved to 5-2-2 against the Hurricanes, but this was the first time one of his teams won without scoring at least four goals. Maurice’s wins with the Maple Leafs against Carolina were by a combined score of 19-9. In two regulation losses, Toronto was outscored 11-2 under Maurice. Both overtime games were 3-2 Canes wins, but no game felt so Mo as his team’s grinding 2-1 win Tuesday.
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2 — Points for John-Michael Liles since he joined the Hurricanes 15 games ago. Liles rang the post on Carolina’s 5-on-3 in the second period, but continues to not register many points despite several opportunities. Surprisingly, Tim Gleason — the player he was traded for — has a goal and two assists in the same number of games with the Maple Leafs. Points aren't everything, but with Carolina’s power play a constant problem the hope was Liles would help cure that ill. So far, he hasn't.
Drayson Bowman — While his primary assist on Carolina’s lone goal won't be remembered as a dazzling pass — or even a pass at all — Bowman was all over the ice Tuesday. The Corsi and Fenwick numbers aren't in his favor — he and his fourth line mates put up the worst numbers of the night — but most of his zone starts came in the defensive zone, meaning that coach Kirk Muller was confident his fourth line could handle the Jets. Bowman definitely made his 12-and-a-half minutes count.
Nathan Gerbe — The speedy forward had a couple chances fall just short Tuesday, but he was most noticeable on the Jets’ two goals. On the first, he and Andrej Sekera failed to pick up Andrew Ladd — who had beaten Justin Faulk to the front of the net after Faulk allowed the Winnipeg rush with a bad pinch — giving the Jets the game’s first goal. Then on the game-winner Gerbe's size was exposed when rookie blueliner Jacob Trouba bounced off him and rushed around the Carolina net, attempting a wraparound that Chris Thorburn deposited in the goal to propel the Jets to a 2-1 win.