Despite staying in the fight until the very end, the Winnipeg Jets couldn’t muster enough offence to put away the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
The Canucks opened the scoring with a goal from Bo Horvat. The home team added tallies from Nic Petan and Tanner Pearson, escaping with a 3-2 victory.
Jeff Mallot and Kristian Reichel scored for Winnipeg.
Vancouver badly outshot the Jets 33-18.
Both starting goalies made their pre-season debuts tonight with Winnipeg’s Mikael Berdin, allowing three goals on 33 shots.
Vancouver’s Jaroslav Halak allowed one goal on 10 shots in his first game as a member of the Canucks. Halak was replaced after the second period.
It was a shaky start to the evening for Berdin as the 23-year-old Russian goaltender couldn’t stop Vancouver’s first shot on goal courtesy of captain Bo Horvat.
Berdin played the puck from behind his own net to the near corner where Tanner Pearson was waiting to feed Horvat in front.
The captain ripped a one-timer off the pad of Berdin and watched it slowly trickle across the goal line. 1-0 Canucks just 3:32 into the game.
Winnipeg found an equalizer just after the midway mark of the period off the stick of Jeff Mallot.
Leon Gawanke’s point shot bounced around for what seemed like forever before Mallot fired home his first point of the pre-season.
Vancouver held the edge in first period shots, outshooting the visitors 9-5 after twenty minutes of play.
Less than three minutes into the middle frame, a scrum erupted in front of Berdin after a Connor Garland wrister was covered up.
Garland got himself into a shoving match with Jansen Harkins that saw both players penalized for roughing.
On the ensuing 4-on-4, Vancouver defenceman Madison Bowey fed Nic Petan in the slot and Jets’ 2013 second round pick lasered one over the shoulder of Berdin to the give the Canucks their second lead of the game.
Canucks’ head coach Travis Green elected to pull Jaroslav Halak from the game with a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Halak gave way to Vancouver’s 2017 third round pick Michael Dipietro.
He immediately received some run support after Johnathan Kovacevic coughed up the puck to Bo Horvat on the forecheck.
Horvat left a drop pass for Nils Hoglander before the puck ended up on the tape of Tanner Pearson. 3-1 Canucks.
The Jets made things interesting with just 3:16 left in the game.
Kristian Reichel jumped on the puck immediately after a David Gustafsson face-off win and wired a wrister over Dipietro’s glove.
Despite climbing within a goal near the end of the final frame, the Jets couldn’t muster a third tally.
Dipietro made seven saves in 20 minutes of action as the Canucks improved their pre season record to 2-2.
Winnipeg returns home to the Canada Life Centre for a tilt with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.
They’ll wrap up exhibition play on Friday in Calgary.
Puck drop for Wednesday’s game goes at 7 o’clock central time.
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