Winnipeg Jets stay behind as Carolina Hurricanes slide with 4-3 win -NHL Update
Carolina just got a little closer to the playoff race as Hurricanes roared past Winnipeg Jets, 4-3, Sunday night, March 18, 2012, at the sold-out MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Winnipeg was only two points away from tying the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and showed some dedication having won their previous two matchups straight but now a sudden drop against Carolina could cost them in the long run.
"This one will stick in there for a long time," Winnipeg Jets head coach, Claude Noel, said. "To me, the bottom line with this game is that if we don't make the playoffs, we don't deserve to make the Playoffs. That is the bottom line. We don't deserve it.
There is a price to pay to win games and there is a price to pay to get into the playoffs, and it's not a 'sometimes' thing."
The crowd of over 15,000 was roaring in joy in anticipation of their home team winning the matchup and getting back into the playoff race, which was ultimately short lived.
Jussi Jokinen got the first goal of the night and his 11th of the 2011-2012 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season on a breakaway while Carolina was shorthanded with Derek Joslin on the bench for cross checking.
Nik Antropov managed to tie it all up with his 13th of the year exactly four minutes later, forcing an intense second period competition with both teams tied at 1-1.
Eric Staal countered with his 20th of the season on the power play, breaking the tie, but Antti Miettinen first two goals of the year back-to-back, give Winnipeg hope of a win going into the final 20 minutes with the one point lead.
Winnipeg failed to add anymore in round-three as Eric Staal got the halfway equaliser and Chad LaRose, rose to the occasion once again to give Carolina the match with less than two minutes remaining.
"There is no doubt that the emotional level that we were at wasn't good enough," Noel added.
Carolina has now won three straight and looks to down Florida Panthers at home on Wednesday.
Jets kick off a three-game road trip against Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, a match which will definitely not be easy in any regard.