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Jets thump Coyotes in season opener

Oct 10, 2014 - 6:43 AM Glendale, AZ ( - Blake Wheeler posted two goals and an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets in a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes in the season opening match for both teams.

Bryan Little had two goals while Mark Stuart and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Jets, who finished last season with 84 points to sit last in the Central Division. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 26 shots in the win.

"I think we were aggressive in the first period," Wheeler said. "When you're just simple and you have the right intentions early in the season, you're going to find yourself getting good bounces."

Martin Hanzal and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Coyotes, who changed the location name of their team after missing the playoffs last season by just two points. Mike Smith allowed all six goals on 27 shots in the loss.

"We need better goaltending than that, plain and simple," said Arizona head coach Dave Tippett. "Smith would tell you the same thing as well."

Little got the scoring started at 7:00, but Boedker answered just 38 seconds later to tie the game.

Wheeler scored a pair a goals just 15 seconds apart at 8:33 and 8:48 while Stuart notched one at 14:11 to give the Jets a 4-1 lead.

The only goal of the second period went to Winnipeg, as it took a 5-1 lead when a transition play saw Wheeler skate down the right side and send a backhand pass to the front of the net where Byfuglien tipped it in at 12:31.

Winnipeg made it a 6-1 game 5:07 into the third while shorthanded as Little skated down the left wing and held off a checker as he bulled to the net and slipped a low shot between the pads of Smith.

Hanzal knocked in a Zbynek Michalek shot just over three minutes later to make it a four-goal game.

Game Notes

Winnipeg plays in San Jose on Saturday ... Arizona hosts Los Angeles on Saturday ... The Jets won all three games with the Coyotes last season ... Winnipeg was 0-for-5 on the power play, while Arizona finished 0-for-3.

    ARIZONA: 2

    Oct 10 1:12 AM

  • Arizona Goal - Martin Hanzal, from Zbynek Michalek at 8:25.

    Jets 6, Coyotes 2  3rd - 11:35Oct 10 12:20 AM

  • Winnipeg Short-Handed Goal - Bryan Little (2), at 5:07.

    Jets 6, Coyotes 1  3rd - 14:53Oct 10 12:13 AM
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    Jets 6, Coyotes 1  3rd - 14:53Oct 10 12:13 AM

    ARIZONA: 1
    End of 2nd

    Oct 9 11:47 PM

  • Winnipeg Goal - Dustin Byfuglien, at 12:31.

    Jets 5, Coyotes 1  2nd - 7:29Oct 9 11:36 PM
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    Jets 5, Coyotes 1  2nd - 7:29Oct 9 11:36 PM

    ARIZONA: 1
    End of 1st

    Oct 9 10:58 PM

  • Sam Gagner wrist shot on Ondrej Pavelec.

    Jets 4, Coyotes 1  1st - 0:04Oct 9 10:57 PM
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    Jets 4, Coyotes 1  1st - 0:04Oct 9 10:57 PM

    ARIZONA: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Oct 9 10:15 PM
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    Jets vs. CoyotesOct 9 3:19 PM
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    Jets vs. CoyotesJun 23 8:49 AM