The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG–This time Bryan Little scored the game-winner with the spotlight on him.
The Jets’ forward found the back of the net off a rebound at 4:49 of overtime yesterday to lift Winnipeg to a 4-3 victory that extended the Anaheim Ducks’ losing streak to 11 games.
“Tonight definitely wasn’t an easy one, though,” said Little, who also recorded the winner in the second period of a 4-2 victory over Detroit on Friday night.
“[Anaheim is] a desperate team and they played that way, and it made it a really hard night for us,” he noted.
“No part of that game is easy.”
Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, and Ben Chiarot also scored for the Jets (29-14-2), who now have won four-straight at home.
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for Winnipeg, which is 5-2-0 in its last seven games.
“[The Ducks] came in here guns blazing,” said Wheeler, who scored on the power play.
“Obviously, it hasn’t been easy for them lately, and they’ve got a lot of guys who have won a lot of games in this league and came out really hard and made it tough on us.”
It’s the longest string of defeats (0-7-4) in Anaheim’s history. But a statement released by the team after the game said head coach Randy Carlyle’s job is safe for now.
“While it’s not my preference to make comments on this topic during the season, our recent play has led to many questions,” Bob Murray, Anaheim’s executive vice-president and general manager, said in the statement.
“Our fans are frustrated, rightfully so, and deserve a response from me,” he noted.
“At this time, I am not considering a coaching change,” Murray stated. “I am more focused on our players, specifically with who is going to step up in this situation.
“The way we played tonight was a step in the right direction but we need much, much more,” he stressed.
“We have higher expectations for this group and they should expect more from themselves.”
Brian Gibbons, Rickard Rakell, and Andrew Cogliano scored for the Ducks (19-18-9). Carter Rowney contributed three assists while Daniel Sprong added a pair.
John Gibson stopped 30 shots for the team, which was starting a five-game road trip.
Carlyle said the Jets got some “lucky bounces” and benefited from a missed slashing penalty by the Jets’ Mark Scheifele on Cam Fowler in overtime, but thinks his team can get out of its funk.
“You just have to multiply and duplicate efforts like tonight,” he remarked. “Because if we do that, we’ll have success.
“And I think we can do some things better.”
Fowler said the team did a lot of “great” things against the Jets.
“Obviously, now with the stuff that we’re going through, people are only looking at the results,” he conceded. “But we came in here, we played a great road game.
“If we continue to do that and we continue to put forth the effort we did tonight, then we’ll climb our way out of this thing.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Calgary bombed Arizona 7-1, Vancouver beat Florida 5-1, the N.Y. Islanders dumped Tampa Bay 5-1, Carolina doubled Nashville 6-3, and Columbus topped the N.Y. Rangers 7-5.