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Sports: Winnipeg Jets fail to capitalize on power-play chances in 3-2 loss to L.A. Kings

Nino Niederreiter to have hearing with Department of Player Safety

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WINNIPEG — The Los Angeles Kings weren't perfect on the road, but coach Todd McLellan liked the results and some lessons learned along the way.

  Winnipeg Jets fail to capitalize on power-play chances in 3-2 loss to L.A. Kings © Provided by The Canadian Press

Captain Anze Kopitar recorded a goal and one assist in his 1,200th career NHL game Saturday to help lift the Kings to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

Los Angeles finished 2-0-1 on a three-game road trip, losing against the Edmonton Oilers in a shootout last week and then beating the Calgary Flames in a shootout.

“This was a tough run,” McLellan said. “Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg is not an easy place to play for a lot of reasons. Each one of the teams is a little bit different. They all have superstars who are game-breakers. Outstanding goaltending for the most part. Tough buildings to play in. Not an easy travel schedule.

March Madness: Winners and losers from Saturday's NCAA Tournament games

  March Madness: Winners and losers from Saturday's NCAA Tournament games The NCAA Tournament's second round started off in exciting fashion Saturday, with one No. 1 seed going down and another barely avoiding an upset. North Carolina built a 25-point lead against No. 1 Baylor, only to watch it wither away play-by-play in the game's last 10 minutes, before the defending national champions finally forced overtime. UNC showed its resolve by gutting it out in the extra frame to advance to the Sweet 16. “I’m so proud of these guys," UNC coach Hubert Davis said afterward. "This is a group that shows toughness, resiliency.

“This is what our team needs right now. We need to go through these moments so that we will be better down the road for that. Down the road could be Monday against Calgary, it could be two weeks from now, it could be next year. I don't know where it's going to take us, but we're learning lessons as we go.”

Adrian Kempe also had a goal and an assist and Gabriel Vilardi notched his third goal of the season for the Kings (38-23-10), who have just three regulation losses in their last 18 road games (12-3-3).

Cal Petersen stopped 25 shots for Los Angeles, which hosts the Flames on Monday.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry scored for the Jets, who started a three-game homestand.

Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for Winnipeg (33-27-10), which are 3-2-0 in their past five games.

Hellebuyck makes 42 saves as Winnipeg Jets blank Vegas Golden Knights 4-0

  Hellebuyck makes 42 saves as Winnipeg Jets blank Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 WINNIPEG — Connor Hellebuyck knew he picked a good time to put up a 42-save performance in a 4-0 victory over the rival Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday. His fourth shutout of the season — and the 28th of his career -- kept the Jets (30-24-10) in the race for a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. “We were always in the mix, but now we’re really in the mix,” Hellebuyck said. “It’s not how we want to play, but wins at this point are huge, and can continue building and get some momentum off of it.” The Dallas Stars hold the second wild-card spot with 73 points after beating the Edmonton Oilers 5-3 Tuesday. Vegas has 72 points and Winnipeg 70.

Winnipeg was 0 for 6 on the power play and Los Angeles was 1 for 3.

“We got our chances,” Lowry said. “Their goalie played well. I think in another game, we could have scored more but that's how it is. It's not easy to score. They did a good job of defending, goalie made key saves.”


Video: Jets stumble in loss to Kings Saturday night (cbc.ca)

The Jets went into the game four points back of the idle Vegas Golden Knights (80 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and three points behind the Dallas Stars, who were in San Jose for a late Saturday game.

The Kings led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 following the second.

The Jets had the game's first power play, but the tables turned and Kempe scored shorthanded at 2:21.

The goal was reviewed to see if he had kicked the puck into the net, but his 29th marker of the season stood.

Ehlers tied it up four minutes later when he burst down the left side of the ice and beat Petersen, but Kopitar took advantage of a Winnipeg turnover and recorded his 18th of the season to regain the lead at 10:32.

Tkachuk scores twice, Ottawa Senators rebound to down Winnipeg Jets 5-2

  Tkachuk scores twice, Ottawa Senators rebound to down Winnipeg Jets 5-2 WINNIPEG — Connor Brown was glad the Ottawa Senators turned the tables on an opponent Thursday. The Senators scored a trio of third-period goals in just over three minutes to clinch a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The win followed Ottawa's 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday. “I thought we played a pretty solid game in New York, but we weren’t really patient down the stretch and they outwitted us,” said Brown, who scored the third goal in Thursday's late trio. “And I thought we did that to (Winnipeg) tonight. It was a nice step in the right direction.

The visitors outshot the Jets 19-6 in the opening period.

Los Angeles stretched its lead to 3-1 at 3:05 of the second, with Vilardi getting credited for a power-play goal after the puck went in off the skate of Winnipeg defenceman Josh Morrissey.

Lowry squeezed the score 3-2 at 13:31 when he netted off a rebound four seconds after a Winnipeg power play expired.

The Jets were on the power play for the final three minutes of the second period because of overlapping Los Angeles penalties and had 1:05 with the man advantage to start the third.

Winnipeg also had a power play eight minutes into the period and couldn't corral a loose puck in front of the net and turn it into a goal.

“Cal stepped up and played a great game,” said defenceman Sean Durzi, who picked up an assist on Kopitar's goal. “I thought a couple times we hung him out to dry and, obviously, he made the big stops for us, which was huge.”

The Jets were without leading-scorer Kyle Connor and defenceman Nate Schmidt for the third straight game as they've been in the league's COVID-19 protocol. They should be cleared by the time Winnipeg hosts the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

“The schedule has been pretty hectic, so hopefully they come back with a lot of energy,” Winnipeg forward Pierre-Luc Dubois said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 2, 2022.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

Kings' Drew Doughty out for remainder of season after undergoing wrist surgery .
The news on Doughty is tough for the Kings, as they fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference and hope to make a run in the playoffs. Doughty has struggled with injuries this season, playing in just 39 of the Kings 74 games so far, last playing on March 7 at the Boston Bruins. Still, the Kings had hoped to get Doughty back perhaps at some point either in advance of the playoffs, or during, but will now have to make their push for the Stanley Cup without one of their cornerstone players. In those 39 games this season, Doughty has seven goals and 24 assists for 31 points.

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