The Winnipeg Jets’ first trip to the United States in nearly 20 months did not go well Wednesday night.
John Gibson stopped 33 of 34 shots and Mason McTavish scored in his NHL debut when the Anaheim Ducks defeated Winnipeg 4-1 in the opening game of the 2021-22 season for both clubs.
The Jets led most of the game early on thanks to a couple of early power plays, but they couldn’t get past Gibson.
At the other extreme, Gibson’s main competition for the starting goalie spot on the US Olympic team was beaten on Anaheim’s first shot of the game. Kevin Shattenkirk’s shot from the boards found its way past Connor Hellebuyck just over six minutes in the first.
Seven minutes later, it was McTavish, one of many young players in the rebuilding Ducks’ lineup, who made his first career count.
Kyle Connor put the Jets on the board early in the second, burying a good shot from Captain Blake Wheeler on Gibson.
But then the Ducks’ power play, which last season was the worst the NHL had seen since they started tracking power play percentage in 1977, they scored a couple of goals to put the game out of their league. scope.
First, it was Adam Henrique deflecting one past Hellebuyck at the end of the second. That was followed by Rickard Rakell beating the Jets goalie with a deflection in the third.
It was a penalty-filled competition in which the Jets finished 0/5 with a man advantage while the Ducks finished 2/5.
The two sides will meet again on October 21 in Winnipeg for the Jets’ home opener.