Raleigh, NC – Evander Kane registered a goal and three assists while Ondrej Pavelec posted 38 saves, as the Winnipeg Jets scored four unanswered goals in a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday at PNC Arena.
Olli Jokinen, Tobias Enstrom and Nik Antropov each scored once for the Jets, who have won two straight to extend their lead over the Hurricanes to six points atop the Southeast Division.
"We knew the implications going in," Kane said. "It was a big game for both teams, but it's not going to be the last one, that's for sure."
Jiri Tlusty scored the lone Carolina goal, while Justin Peters allowed all four goals on 35 shots for the Hurricanes, who have lost six straight and find themselves three points back of the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We have to play harder," Tlusty admitted. "It's just all about us going out there and playing harder. We have to throw more pucks at the net and wait for a lucky bounce because it's not going in for us right now and we have to get ugly."
An interference penalty against Jokinen just over four minutes in provided Carolina with an early advantage, but the Hurricanes were unable to break through until just after the Jokinen minor expired.
With Jokinen still making his way into the defensive zone, Riley Nash slid a pass from behind the net to the low left circle for Tlusty, who one-timed a blast past Pavelec for 1-0 lead at the 6:06 mark.
It was all Winnipeg from there, as Jokinen atoned for the penalty later in the frame when he skated in on a 2-on-1 rush with Kane before taking a cross-ice feed from the Winnipeg center and beating Peters through the five-hole from the low right side to make it 1-1 at 13:44.
A hooking call against Jordan Stall at the 11:23 mark of the second set up Winnipeg's go-ahead goal, as the Jets won the ensuing offensive zone faceoff before Enstrom fired a heavy slapper from the top of the left circle that sailed over the far-side shoulder of Peters for a 2-1 lead at 11:31.
Winnipeg seized control with another marker just over five minutes later, as Alexander Burmistrov poked at a loose puck in front that Peters blocked away, but the rebound deflected off a stick in front and snuck past Peters. Burmistrov appeared to bat the puck in with his glove at first glance, but video review confirmed the rebound hit Antropov's stick in front and the Winnipeg center was credited with his fourth goal of the season at 16:39.
Carolina shot itself in the foot late in the third to account for the final margin, as Carolina defenseman Jamie McBain fanned on a clearing attempt in the slot and his backswing sent the puck sailing into the Carolina net.
Kane was the last Winnipeg player to touch the puck, giving him his 13th tally of the season at the 12:37 mark of the final frame.
Winnipeg won the only other meeting this year, a 4-3 decision on Feb. 21 in Carolina ... Winnipeg improved to 10-6-2 on the road, while Carolina fell to 7-9-0 at home ... Carolina's six-game losing streak is its longest since going 0-6-1 from Nov. 23-Dec. 6 of last season ... Winnipeg went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Carolina finished 0-for-3 on the man advantage.