The nearly-perfect Anaheim Ducks lost their first home game in regulation on Tuesday as the Winnipeg Jets kept their flawless record intact under new head coach Paul Maurice, taking down the Ducks 3-2.
Prior to last night's tilt between the best and the bottom of the Western Conference, the Ducks had surrendered just two points to their opponents, sporting an impressive 20-0-2 record while playing at the Honda Center, but the Jet's came into town on a roll and weren't about to be stopped.
"It's a tough building to play in, and it feels good to be the first ream to beat them [here] this season," Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said. "It's only two points, but it feels really good, especially in this building. The whole team is playing with confidence. The new coach let us know we're good players, and we can beat anybody."
When the Jets dismissed Claude Noel from his duties behind the bench on Jan.12, Maurice stepped in as interim coach and so far it's paying off. Under Maurice the team has been doing what Noel lost the ability to do; have his team feel good and win.
"Before I got here, I thought this was a good hockey team," Maurice said. "Now we're feeling good and that changes everything."
Under Noel the Jets were 19-23-5 and 10 points removed from a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Since the change, Winnipeg has earned two points in each of their last four games, boosting them back to a .500 record.
There is a ways to go for the Jets, who sit last in their division, if they want to snap a two-year absence from the post season but it's useless to give up. For now, the Jets will continue to put their best foot forward and see where it takes them.
"I know it's never easy when the coach gets fired. I think we, as a group, came together and play each other. I think we try to listen to him and the changes that's he made," Michael Frolik said
"So far, it's working."