New coach Maurice lights a fire under lackluster Jets in debut
WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets found the energy they have lacked for weeks and made new coach Paul Maurice a winner in his debut behind the bench by routing the Phoenix Coyotes 5-1 on Monday night.
Olli Jokinen, Eric O’Dell, Blake Wheeler, Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi scored for the Jets, who held a 38-19 shots advantage.
“I went in and talked a little bit about what I saw, congratulated them on facing some tough adversity and winning, thanked them, and then proceeded to cancel the day off that they had (Tuesday),” he said after the Jets ended a five-game losing streak.
“It was good enough tonight,” Maurice said, “but we can’t rely on that being good enough in our next game. We’ve just got to get better.”
Maurice, who took over after Claude Noel was fired on Sunday, got his first cheer during the national anthem when his face showed on the scoreboard.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead during a power play at 12:16, but the Coyotes didn’t have much time to celebrate.
Jokinen batted a behind-the-net pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Mike Smith at 12:52 to tie it, and O’Dell scored his second of the season at 18:00. The Jets kept up the pressure in the second until Wheeler backhanded in Mark Scheifele’s rebound to make it 3-1. At the halfway mark of the period the Jets had outshot Phoenix 9-1.
• HAPPY JANUARY IN COLUMBUS: Mark Letestu redirected Jack Johnson’s shot from the point with 2:38 left, lifting the Columbus Blue Jackets past the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 for their season-high fourth win in a row. Nathan Horton scored his 200th NHL goal, also on the power play, and Ryan Johansen had a goal for Columbus, which is 5-1 in the new year. Sergei Bobrovsky had 26 saves. Alex Killorn and Victor Hedman had goals for Tampa Bay, and Anders Lindback stopped 25 shots.Tampa Bay had been 17-1 when leading after two periods. The Blue Jackets had a man advantage for the sixth time after Tyler Johnson was called for hooking with 3:28 remaining. Just 50 seconds later, James Wisniewski fed Johnson for a hard shot that Letestu deflected past Lindback through heavy traffic in front.
• FIRST SHUTOUT: Karri Ramo made 22 saves in his first NHL shutout, and Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan provided the offense in Calgary’s 2-0 victory over the Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C. “It’s good that it’s out of the way,” Ramo said. “It’s nice to finish one without a goal. Obviously, everyone thinks about it and knows the situation but you just have to focus and play normally.” The Flames ended a three-game losing streak and handed the Hurricanes their second consecutive shutout defeat. Backland scored his seventh goal of the season for the Flames, who notched their second power-play tally in 26 chances. Monahan scored his 13th goal midway through the third period.
• LONGTIME SCOUT DIES: The Sharks announced the death of longtime NHL scout Jack Gardiner, following a long battle with cancer. He was 69. Gardiner had worked for the Sharks since 2004, focusing primarily on the eastern United States. Gardiner also worked for the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs in a nearly 35-year career as a professional hockey scout. Gardiner also worked for the NHL in the Central Scouting Bureau.