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Energized Jets edge Stars in shootout

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel gave his team Friday off hoping it would energize them in advance of Saturday's game against the Dallas Stars. The Jets responded by controlling the puck for much of the game and got a second-period goal from Evander Kane and another from Andrew Ladd in the shootout to hand the Stars a 2-1 defeat at American Airlines Center.

"Well, we gave them a day off yesterday, but it was a long time coming. They hadn't had one in 11 days," Noel said. "I think it was good for our players to get together and just have some down time because we've got another game tomorrow. I liked the effort of our group tonight."

Ladd scored the lone goal for the Jets in the shootout, beating Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen with a wrist shot to his glove side for the clinching goal.

After the win, Ladd admitted he had his move picked out before he ever hit the ice.

"Yeah, I usually have one picked out before I go. Going second maybe allows you to see the goalie's tendencies on the first shot," Ladd said. (Goaltending coach) Wade Flaherty does a good job of giving us some scouting stuff before the game too."

Dallas misfired on all three shootout attempts.

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec finished with 35 saves in the win, one he credits to being effective at limiting rebounds throughout the game.

"Yeah, well that's the key. I try to keep the puck and hold the puck but sometimes it goes a different way. But I think the guys did a great job to clean the crease," Pavelec said. "They pushed the bodies away so I was able to see the shots."

Winnipeg took the lead in the second period when Kane scored off a rebound. Dallas tied it early in the third when Stephane Robidas beat Pavelec through the five-hole.

"We were pretty good in how we dealt with it," Noel said of Robidas' goal. "It was a disappointing goal in a lot of ways. You look at the way that thing got manufactured from our own standpoint and the way it went in was kind of a seeing-eye shot. But I thought after that we played patient. I thought we did a good job controlling the neutral zone a lot better and minimizing their speed."

After one period, the game was scoreless despite the Jets spending much of the period in the Dallas end.

"First period we resembled the team that practiced this morning," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "We weren't crisp this morning and we didn't come out crisp, and I thought that hurt us."

Winnipeg scored 3:28 into the second when Kane snapped a rebound into the right side of the Dallas net on a delayed penalty.

With a penalty pending on Dallas' Vernon Fiddler, the Jets got the extra attacker on and converted with Kane flipping in a rebound after Dustin Byfuglien's initial shot from near the Dallas blue line was denied by Lehtonen. The ensuing carom fell at the skates of Kane, who quickly made Dallas pay with a pinpoint shot from the middle of the right faceoff circle.

The Jets had a great chance to make it a two-goal game early in the third when Devin Setoguchi sent a wrister off the right post. And after Lehtonen lost track of the puck, which looked like it might go in, Stars defenseman Jordie Benn dashed in to clear the puck from the crease and away from danger.

However, Dallas pulled even at 6:36 of the third when a low shot by Robidas from near the Jets' blue line beat Pavelec through the five-hole to make 1-1.

Dallas was 0-for-4 on the power play, making the Stars now 0-for-16 with the man-advantage at home this season.

The Stars went on the power play with 25.6 seconds remaining in regulation after the Jets received a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Pavelec denied a close-range shot from Dallas captain Jamie Benn a few seconds into the man-advantage, but the game headed to overtime.

"He was good," Ladd said of Pavelec. "We need him to be our best player on a lot of nights. We put a lot of pressure on him to do so, but we feel he's capable of doing that."

Dallas maintained the man advantage for the first 1:34 of overtime but the Jets again hung tough.

NOTES: Scratches for Winnipeg were C Patrice Cormier, D Adam Pardy and RW Chris Thorburn. ... Dallas' scratches were C Ryan Garbutt, who is in game two of a five-game suspension, and D Kevin Connauton, who made his NHL debut in Thursday's 5-1 win over Calgary. ... Kane, who missed morning skate, was one of the first Winnipeg players on the ice after Jets coach Claude Noel termed him a game-time decision earlier in the day. ... Dallas D Alex Goligoski returned to the ice after being a healthy scratch Thursday. Goligoski skated alongside Jordie Benn in the Stars' No. 3 defensive pairing. ... Winnipeg was making its first appearance in Dallas as the Jets since March 26, 1996, when the previous incarnation of the Jets beat the Stars, 8-2, at Reunion Arena. ... Scouts from four other NHL teams were in the press box for the game. ... Announced attendance was 13,875.
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