Blake Wheeler scores twice to lead Jets in 6-5 victory over Senators - InfoNews

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Blake Wheeler scores twice to lead Jets in 6-5 victory over Senators

Ottawa Senators Cody Ceci (5) and Winnipeg Jets Adam Lowry (17) knock Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) out of the net during third period NHL hockey action at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Monday, April 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
April 02, 2018 - 9:05 PM

OTTAWA - Erik Karlsson picked up the game puck before skating to the locker-room after Monday night's game.

While he downplayed the significance of the act, it could be the last thing he did in a Senators jersey on home ice.

"I don't know why I did it, it was just laying there," Karlsson said after a 6-5 loss to the playoff-bound Winnipeg Jets. "I didn't really think about that (being my last game) and I didn't think that you guys (the media) would ever pick that up either, but there's a lot of cameras out there."

The Senators will wrap up their season with three road games, but there's a chance Karlsson will not make the trip.

The Ottawa captain's future has been cause for speculation for much of the season. While the Senators say they want to re-sign the 27-year-old, Karlsson could be moved at the NHL Draft or over the summer if the two sides can't come to an agreement.

Karlsson has one year remaining on his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 season, but the team has said they would like a deal done this off-season.

Karlsson said he hadn't given much thought to Monday's game potentially being his last with the Senators.

"I haven't until now. Obviously I'm a social guy and I read a lot of things and I don't read too much into it, but obviously the word is out there from you guys that it might be my last home game," he said. "But it's not something I thought about going into this game and it's not something I'll probably think about for a while."

Despite the loss, the 17,122 fans at Canadian Tire Centre were treated to an entertaining game as the Senators rallied back from a 3-0 deficit.

Blake Wheeler scored twice to lead the Jets (49-20-10) and Andrew Copp, Josh Morrissey, Brandon Tanev and Mathieu Perreault also scored. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots.

The Jets trail Nashville by five points for the Central Division lead with three games remaining in the regular season.

Thomas Chabot and Matt Duchene each scored twice and Christian Wolanin scored his first for Ottawa (27-41-11). Craig Anderson made 34 saves.

"Fans probably loved seeing 11 goals, but for a coach not so much," said Ottawa coach Guy Boucher. "We did enough offensively to win the game, but when you don't defend as well as you attack offensively it makes it difficult."

Trailing 5-3 to start the third, the Senators made it a one-goal game early in the period on Wolanin's first NHL goal. He beat Hellebuyck glove side, but the Jets regained their two-goal lead at 14:38 on the power play as Perreault jumped on a rebound in front.

With 1:05 remaining, Duchene scored his second, and 200th career, on the power play to make it 6-5, but Ottawa couldn't score the equalizer.

"I'm excited, but it sucks that it comes in a loss," said Duchene. "I wanted to get there before the end of the year. I kind of had it circled as a goal to try and get to so it's nice to get that."

Ottawa trailed 3-1 to start the second and cut the lead to one as Duchene scored a power-play goal, but the Jets replied with Tanev's short-handed goal.

Ottawa made it 4-3 when Chabot scored his second of the night for his first multi-goal game, but Winnipeg replied again with Wheeler picking up his second.

"They played hard and didn't quit so you have to give them credit," said Wheeler. "It's two points, it's a win. Obviously there's areas we can be better, but we scored one more goal than they did."

The Jets jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first on goals from Copp, Morrissey and Wheeler.

The Senators managed to get on the scoreboard late in the period as Chabot beat Hellebuyck. Karlsson earned an assist on the play, giving him his fifth straight 60-point season and seventh of his career.

Notes: Mark Stone missed his 12th straight game with a leg injury. Winnipeg D Dustin Byfuglien was given the night off.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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