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After Philly embarrassment, Jets’ Ondrej Pavelec finds his game

Sean Leahy
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UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Eight days ago, Ondrej Pavelec was recovering from the worst game of his career that ended with him being the victor in a wild 9-8 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Eight days later, Pavelec is waking up this morning having posted his seventh career shutout in a 3-0 blanking of the New York Islanders on Thursday night. After that night at Wells Fargo Center where the goal light was worn out, things had to change for the 24-year old Czech and his teammates.

"That game, a couple bad goals, couple bad bounces, but I still was in the game that night," said Pavelec. "It was very important we found a way to win that game and we had two points. "

"After that, we just said we can't play anymore like that."

Since that game in Philadelphia that kicked off the 7-game road trip the Jets will end on Tuesday night in Buffalo, Pavelec has flipped the switch back on to the being the goaltender from last season that brought the pun-rific headlines of "Pav-electric".

According to Coach Claude Noel, Pavelec didn't let the mess against the Flyers knock him off his game.

"It's been impressive to bounce back like that," said Noel. "Really the way that I see it with him is it's gone through his work ethic. He's worked hard in practice. He's worked hard in pre-game skate. He's really been focused and really been hungry to succeed and it shows in his game."

After a sluggish 2-5-1 start, the Jets have taken three of the first four on their longest road trip of the season. And considering the hoopla surrounding the team leading up to their home opener last month, getting away has been a tonic for the Jets.

Despite their defense corps getting ravaged along the way with Mark Stuart, Derek Meech, Ron Hainsey, Tobi Enstrom and now likely Randy Jones -- who left the game in the third period after taking a shot to his ankle -- outside of the Flyers game, the team has come together like many do on long road trips and rallied around their situation.

Away from home, away from the distractions and throng of media, the Jets are finding a way to get their season back on track, but Pavelec knows that in the end, dealing with the pressures at home will be vital in the end.

"The team I think who wants to make the playoffs, who wants to be successful, has to win at home first," said Pavelec. "I enjoy the time on the road, it's fun to be together and get some points from the road games.

"But we coming home pretty soon and like I said, it doesn't matter where you play, you have to play hard as you can."

Photo credit: Getty Images

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