Hurricanes 3, Jets 1

Goaltender Justin Peters helped the Hurricanes put some pressure
on Winnipeg in the Southeast Division.

Peters stopped 34 shots Saturday as Carolina edged closer to the
Jets with a much-needed 3-1 win.

”Peters had a great game and gave us a chance to win,” said
Carolina coach Kirk Muller, as his team narrowed the division gap
to four points.

Alex Semin and Eric Staal each had a goal and an assist for the
Hurricanes (16-15-2), who snapped a seven-game winless streak.

Jussi Jokinen also scored for Carolina.

Olli Jokinen scored for the Jets (18-16-2), who came to life in
the second period only to have their momentum sapped by a string of
penalties.

Winnipeg coach Claude Noel had little to say after the game.

”No one’s more disappointed than us,” he said, noting they
still lead the Southeast Division.

”The division race is going to get played out (but) it’s not
what we had in mind.”

Peters, a third-stringer, is starting for Carolina because of
injuries.

First the Canes lost starter Cam Ward for what could be the
season to a ligament injury and they’re also playing without backup
Dan Ellis, after his leg was cut just over a week ago in a 4-1 loss
to the New Jersey Devils.

Peters, who had allowed four goals in each of his past two
starts, says he’s still learning.

”I approach every game the same, no matter what the
circumstances,” he said. ”I try to take the same approach every
game and give my best effort every night.”

Muller said the team wasn’t in desperation mode coming into
Winnipeg.

”Today was not a do or die,” said Muller, who said they came
in knowing there were 16 games still to play before the season
wraps.

”For us it was more, if we can be a good hockey team for 16
games that’s what we’re after.”

Staal said the win was very important to his team.

”We needed to catch this team and win this game,” he said,
adding that controlling faceoffs helped lock it down. Carolina won
61 percent of the faceoffs Saturday.

”Especially on the road, you want to make sure you’re starting
with the puck and if you’re strong in that area, you have a better
chance of making plays and we were good in that area tonight.”

The Jets were disappointed by their first loss this season to
Carolina.

”It was disappointing. It was a great opportunity for us to
push these guys in a pretty deep hole,” Blake Wheeler said.

He said they had their chances, but Peters stopped them.

”The second period it could have been 3-2, 4-2, 5-2, but their
goalie made some great saves.”

The Hurricanes scored their first goal barely over a minute into
the game when Semin snapped one in just a second after Winnipeg
goalie Ondrej Pavelec had blocked Staal’s wraparound attempt.

Jussi Jokinen’s wrister at 9:41, one second after the end of
Carolina’s first power play of the game, made it 2-0.

Winnipeg put on pressure and outshot the Hurricanes 11-7 for the
period, but the closest they came to getting past Peters was a goal
post.

Olli Jokinen put Winnipeg on the board at 1:26 of the second on
a neat backward pass from Evander Kane as he passed the Carolina
net.

But Winnipeg took four penalties, including three that
overlapped giving the Hurricanes a couple of brief 5-on-3
chances.

”In the second half of the second period we were in the box
pretty much the whole 10 minutes,” Olli Jokinen said.

Carolina regained its momentum in the third, with Staal snapping
one from the right faceoff circle past Pavelec’s glove just 28
seconds into the period.

”We’ve just got to get better in our zone next time,” said
Pavelec, who also gave Peters credit.

”They played as a team. He made some good saves. We had our
chances but couldn’t score.”

NOTES: The Jets won both their games in Carolina this season and
the Hurricanes get one more crack to even the series April 18 when
they play their last game in Winnipeg this season. The Jets head
back out on the road to play the Rangers and Islanders Monday and
Tuesday and Montreal on Thursday.