Aside from the first shot he faced reaching the twine behind him, Wednesday night was a welcome sight for goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
Thrashers Jets goalie who held down the starting job for over six seasons made his return to the NHL side of MTS Centre when he made his first appearance with the big club after being sent down to AHL Manitoba in October.
The last time he put on an NHL uniform April 9, 2016 when he helped the Jets fly to a 4-3 shootout win at Los Angeles. Tonight’s game against Arizona looked like Pavelec’s return to the big show would be short lived after Josh Jooris opened the scoring at 2:49 of the first period. But Pavelec settled down and stopped 30 of the next 32 shots as the Jets beat the Coyotes 6-3.
The Jets got goals from six different skaters (Josh Morrissey, Blake Wheeler, Andrew Copp, Joel Armia, Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers)as they snapped a four-game losing streak.
The different look in goal was necessary for Winnipeg, as they are tied with Philadelphia for the most goals allowed in the NHL this season (144) going into Wednesday’s game.
Connor Hellebuyck backed up Pavelec while Michael Hutchinson was a healthy scratch. Hutchinson had started their previous games against Los Angeles and San Jose, while Hellebuyck was pulled from his last two starts. The Jets remain at home for the next week with contests against St. Louis, Anaheim, and a rematch against the Sharks.