|Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) stops a shot by Phoenix Coyotes forward Kyle Turris (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)|
Pavelec, Little lift Jets over Coyotes 1-0
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves in his second shutout of the season and Bryan Little's first-period goal held up as the Jets beat Phoenix 1-0 on Thursday night in the Coyotes' first game back in Winnipeg since leaving for the desert in 1996.
Little scored the game's only goal off a rebound while Coyotes goalie Mike Smith was out of position.
Winnipeg (10-11-4), the former Atlanta Thrashers who relocated before this season, snapped a two-game losing streak. After the game, the crowd gave the new Jets a standing ovation and saluted them at center ice as the players raised their sticks.
Smith faced 31 shots as Phoenix (13-8-3) had a two-game winning streak broken.
It was a strong bounce back game for Pavelec, who allowed five goals Tuesday in a 6-4 loss to Ottawa.
Some fans showed that hard feelings haven't died when it comes to the Coyotes, who deserted Winnipeg after the 1995-96 season.
The Coyotes were booed when they came on the ice, and that treatment continued every time a Phoenix player had the puck, including captain Shane Doan.
Doan was a rookie during the franchise's final season in Manitoba and is one of three players from that team still in the NHL, along with Anaheim's Teemu Selanne and Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
Doan later got a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd of 15,004 after the rink announcer asked fans to recognize his place in Jets history.
Evander Kane earned an assist on Little's goal. His shot hit the post, and Little put in the rebound at 6:53 of the opening period.
NOTES: C Kyle Turris made his season debut with the Coyotes following a long contract holdout. He played just under 12 minutes and registered a team-high four shots on goal. ... Phoenix couldn't get even despite outshooting the Jets 16-9 in the second period and holding a 27-19 edge in shots after 40 minutes. ... The game had only five penalties. Winnipeg was 0-for-3 on the power play, and Phoenix finished 0-for-2. ... Winnipeg will host New Jersey on Saturday, while the Coyotes will face Philadelphia in Arizona.