The high-scoring Winnipeg Jets find themselves on the verge of the best start in franchise history.
They, however, will have to contain fan favorite Teemu Selanne if they hope to stay unbeaten.
The Jets try to open 3-0-0 when they host Selanne and the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
After rallying to beat Edmonton 5-4 in Tuesday's season opener, Winnipeg held on for a 5-3 victory over Los Angeles on Friday. Devin Setoguchi, who scored twice over a three-minute stretch early in the third period, combined with Evander Kane for three goals and three assists.
The Jets, who spent 11 seasons as the Atlanta Thrashers before relocating to Winnipeg in 2011-12, have never won their first three games.
"It feels good, but I've learned over my six years that you have to stay as level headed as you possibly can," said Setoguchi, acquired from Minnesota this summer. "The second you get overconfident is when things start going wrong. So for us, we got a 2-0 start, but we have to throw that all away and start fresh again (Sunday). ... That's how we're going to get better."
The Jets have taken four straight from the Ducks (1-1-0), most recently winning 5-3 on Dec. 17, 2011 in Selanne's return to the place where he started his career. The 43-year-old future Hall of Famer scored a career-high 76 goals during his 1992-93 rookie campaign with the Jets, his first of three-plus seasons in Winnipeg before getting traded to Anaheim.
"He's been such a dominant player, had such an impact here in Winnipeg," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "This is a guy that performs, you watch him play at his age, it's just a marvel. ... I just hope that we win the game as we marvel."
Selanne ranks 11th all-time with 675 goals, six behind New Jersey's Jaromir Jagr for the most among active players.
"He still skates faster than I do. For his age, that's incredible," Setoguchi said of Selanne. "He gets a chance to come back, it's a cool feeling for him I'm sure. There's not many guys that can play at that age and still be effective."
Selanne, who is likely to rest in at least one game during the team's 12 back-to-back sets, will be on the ice Sunday after sitting out a 4-3 overtime win at Minnesota the night before.
"Winnipeg might be a pretty big night for him," coach Bruce Boudreau told the league's official website. "They love him there and rightfully so. They should love him."
With Selanne out, Mathieu Perreault stepped up Saturday, delivering the game-winning goal with 4.9 seconds left in OT. Nick Bonino, Saku Koivu and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for Anaheim, which bounced back from a disappointing 6-1 loss at Colorado on Wednesday.
"Nobody in that locker room was happy with the way we lost in the season opener," said defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who had two assists. "We wanted to get back to the way we can play."
After Viktor Fasth surrendered all six goals against the Avalanche, Jonas Hiller made 30 saves in his season debut. Hiller is 0-1-1 with a 3.09 goals-against average against the Jets.
Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec, who enters with a shaky 3.50 GAA, has never faced the Ducks. He is 6-1-1 with a 2.57 GAA in his last eight home starts dating to last season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Teemu Selanne
- Anaheim Ducks
- The Jets
- Devin Setoguchi