Janecyk Is Back, but Not Kings : He Stops 39 Shots, but Jets Win Again in Overtime, 5-4
A masked man summoned from the bushes wasn’t the answer Thursday night for the defenseless Kings, who lost a second straight overtime game to the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4, at the Forum.
Goaltender Bob Janecyk, called up by the Kings Wednesday from their American Hockey League affiliate at New Haven, Conn., stopped 39 shots in his debut.
It wasn’t enough, however, to prevent another loss by the Kings, who are winless in their last four games.
“Bob played well; he deserved a better fate than he got tonight,” Coach Mike Murphy said. “But that’s the way it is. You give up that last goal and all is lost.”
Iain Duncan scored at 3:07 of overtime to give the Jets their second victory in three nights. Before Tuesday night’s 7-6 overtime win over the Kings, the Jets had lost seven of their last eight games.
A crowd of 9,117 watched Dale Hawerchuk take a pass from Paul MacLean at the red line and skate into the right circle, where he backhanded a pass in front to Duncan, who deflected the pass through Janecyk’s legs.
The victory improved the Jets’ overtime record to 5-0-1.
Winnipeg, which ranks second in the National Hockey League in power-play efficiency, scored three of its first four goals during manpower advantages.
“I don’t think we were as determined tonight as we were the other night,” Murphy said. “Penalty-killing really hurt us. We’re not very good in our defensive zone.”
That’s one of the reasons that they called up Janecyk, whose career record with the Kings is 40-41-12.
Janecyk, 30, got word of his promotion Wednesday morning. He flew all day from Hartford, Conn., spent the night in a hotel room and practiced Thursday morning with the Kings.
After practice, he said he had seen the Kings play on television a few times, “but I didn’t want to concern myself (with them) all that much because I had my own job to do.”
He did it well, putting together an 11-2 record, 1.65 goals-against average and .936 save percentage for the Nighthawks. In 14 games, he allowed only 14 goals, helping the Nighthawks into a first-place tie in the AHL’s Northern Division with a 15-7-2 record.
Janecyk, injured most of last season when he had a 4-3 record and 4.86 goals-against average in limited duty with the Kings, said he wasn’t discouraged when he was assigned to New Haven before the start of the season.
“I went down with a good attitude, worked hard and got to where I was happy with the way I was playing,” he said. “There are a lot of guys who don’t do that, but that’s what I did.
“I did my best to get back to the NHL, and now I’m back. And now I’ve got to prove myself all over again.”
His words rang true from the opening minutes of the game. After facing fewer than 25 shots a game at New Haven, he faced 19 in the first period alone, including 5 by Hawerchuk.
Hawerchuk scored his 11th power-play goal of the season with 2:13 left in the period, beating Janecyk to the short side with a 25-foot shot from the right circle to erase a 2-1 Jet deficit.
The Kings had scored first on a rebound shot by Bob Bourne, but the Jets tied it during a power play on a deflection by Thomas Steen.
Luc Robitaille’s 15th goal, scored from in front after the puck got away from Winnipeg goaltender Eldon (Pokey) Reddick, put the Kings ahead, 2-1, with 4:43 left in the period.
Winnipeg opened a 4-3 lead in the second period, sandwiching goals by Steen and Duncan around a goal by the Kings’ Dave Taylor, who scored on a rebound of a shot by Bernie Nicholls.
Duncan’s goal also came on a rebound as he knocked the puck into the net after a shot by Paul MacLean rattled crazily off the crossbar.
After Taylor’s goal tied it, Steen beat Janecyk from a sharp angle in the right circle. The Jets’ third power-play goal gave them a 4-3 lead with four minutes left in the period.
It stayed that way just 41 seconds into the third period, at which time Jimmy Carson skated hard down the right wing and beat Reddick with a 30-foot shot from the right circle.
The power-play goal, scored with the Jets’ Laurie Boschman off the ice for holding and unsportsmanlike conduct, pulled the Kings even at 4-4.
Bernie Nicholls has points in 10 straight games. Jimmy Carson has points in 14 of 15, including 7 straight. Luc Robitaille has points in 7 straight and 13 of 14. . . . The Kings play 8 of their next 10 games on the road, starting a five-game trip Saturday night at Montreal. . . . Tim Tookey will undergo arthroscopic surgery today to repair cartilage damage in his right knee. Tookey injured the knee Nov. 13 at Calgary but had played in 7 of 9 games since. . . . Jay Wells, who twisted his back Sunday night in a fight with New Jersey’s Brendan Shanahan, was scratched for the second straight game. “The pain is gone,” Wells said, “but I’ve got no flexibility.” . . . Tom Laidlaw, who had missed eight games because of a sprained ligament in his right knee, returned to the lineup. . . . Ken Hammond, who was called up last month when Laidlaw aggravated the injury, will return today to the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate at New Haven, Conn. Hammond played in seven games with the Kings. . . . Phil Sykes, who has missed 19 games with a severely pulled groin, will not make the trip. . . . Bob Janecyk said: “I’m not happy with the results, but I’m happy with the game I played.” . . . Winnipeg is 9-1 against Smythe Division opponents. The Kings are 1-8-1.