The Winnipeg Jets played their second game in as many nights and third in the past 5 days and they looked like a team who needed a break as they were thoroughly dominated by the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils in a 4-1 loss.
The loss though, may not be the worst news the Jets received on this night as just minutes into the game big Devils defenseman Scott Stevens collided with Jets star Alexei Zhamnov knee on knee. Zhamnov was carried off and would not return, further tests are scheduled for today. The Jets were visibly unhappy with the hit and just minutes later Winnipegs tough guy Jim Mckenzie and Stevens dropped the gloves. Referee Richard Trottier continued to bother the visitors however when early in the second with the Jets down 3-1, he disallowed a goal off the stick of Dallas Drake that appeared to cross the goal line, which would have brought Winnipeg right back into the game.
Winnipeg fell behind early in the game giving up a goal under 3 minutes into the contest as Steve Thomas beat Tim Cheveldae, getting his second start in as many nights, five hole to open the scoring. Thomas finished with two goals for New Jersey who also got markers from Denis Pederson and an empty netter by Jason Smith.
Martin Brodeur earned his second win of the season for New Jersey stopping 29 of 30 shots, the lone goal to beat him, off the blade of Mike Eastwood late in the second, was the first shot to beat him all year. Tim Cheveldae fell to 0-2 stopping 30 of 33 shots and was one of the few Jets to look good in the loss, keeping Winnipeg in the game much longer than they deserved. Jets forward Keith Tkachuk missed his second straight game but is expected to return next week.
Winnipeg(2-2) returns home on the 15th to face the Western conference favourite Detroit Red Wings who are 2-1 so far this season.