Jets do in Devils with two quick goals early in second period
Jets center Mathieu Perreault was happy to see Winnipeg's offense catch up to its defense.
Perreault and Mark Scheifele scored less than 2 minutes apart early in the second period, and the Jets beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 Tuesday night.
Michael Frolik added a goal late in the third to seal the victory.
"We've had chances those other games as well," Perreault said. "We're over 30 shots every game. It's just a matter of putting them in."
Perreault got Winnipeg started with his first of the season as he backhanded a high shot past Cory Schneider at 1:54 of the second. Scheifele flicked in linemate Adam Lowry's rebound at 3:38 for his third goal.
Patrik Elias narrowed it to 2-1 on a power play just more than a minute into the third. The goal was first credited to Martin Havlat but later changed to Elias, who poked a loose puck under Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson (21 saves).
The Jets entered as the third lowest-scoring team in the NHL. Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice juggled his lines and it seemed to generate a little more offense.
"I would say there's very few nights you don't go on the bench with plan B," Maurice said. "You also don't want to be changing your lines all the time. For me, we're not at that stage."
Scheifele said he played enough last season with Frolik to build chemistry. Lowry, a rookie, handled the right side.
"He's a big body and he makes great plays. I know both those guys played amazing tonight and I'm happy to be with them," Scheifele said.
Both teams looked a little flat in the first period but it was the Jets, with just one night off in the last four, who found energy in the second.
The Devils last played Saturday and were outshot 23-9 by the end of the second. Veteran star Jaromir Jagr had the best chance of the period.
The 42-year-old Jagr is the oldest player in the NHL and leads the Devils in scoring with nine goals and 12 points.
"We had like a couple of waves in the second and a couple in the third, but over the course of the game I would think they felt pretty comfortable and not threatened, and that's not a good thing," New Jersey forward Mike Cammalleri said.
"I didn't think we created enough clean plays maybe coming up the ice out of zone to get our legs going enough to push their wave of defense back. That made it hard for us to have puck time there."
The Jets continued to struggle on the power play, squandering five opportunities.
"Clearly the power play is a sore spot for us and it has to get better," said Maurice, who said he saw the energy level drop when Winnipeg had a 5-on-4 and ruefully suggested the Jets might be better off turning down the opportunity.
The Devils got more dangerous as the third period drew to a close, but Hutchinson made some great saves and it was Frolik who scored off another shot by Lowry at 16:07.
New Jersey was outshot 34-22 but had 13 shots in the third to 11 for the Jets.
"It's just one of those things where we're lucky we got those bounces," said Hutchinson, who had long stretches early in the game when he was simply a spectator.
"It's a little bit difficult when you don't touch the puck as much."
NOTES: In their first meeting this season, the Jets had to settle for a point when the Devils tied the game in the final minutes of the third and won 2-1 in a shootout. ... Scheifele exited Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss in Minnesota favoring his leg. He missed a good chunk of last season with a knee injury. ... Schneider started his pro career in Winnipeg as a member of the AHL's Manitoba Moose.