COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Winnipeg Jets were beginning an important three-game Eastern Conference road swing and were opening against the injury-riddled Columbus Blue Jackets and came up with a squeaky 4-2 victory where they had to battle and get some great goaltending along the way.

Michael Hutchinson was between the pipes for the Jets and had a great game in which he made 32 saves and also got some help from the iron as the Blue Jackets hit three posts. He was named the game’s first star. Hutchinson improved to 4-1-1 on the season.

“What Mike is doing is shortening the interval,” between starts, Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said.

Columbus netminder Sergei Bobrovsky was no slouch in the loss as he made 28 saves in the loss.

“You’re always hoping to get more starts, but the most important thing right now is the team winning,” Hutchinson said. “I’m feeling really good about where my game is right now. I’m reading the plays really good right now.”

Winnipeg got goals from Bryan Little his 7th, Evander Kane got his 3rd and 4th goals of the season, Andrew Ladd scored his 8th.

Columbus got goals from Jordan Leopold his 1st, Ryan Johansen notched his 8th.

“It’s obviously frustrating,” Blue Jackets forward Brian Gibbons said. “These are games we need to win. [Johansen] made a great play to cut it to one goal. I had a chance; a couple of other guys had chances. Those are pucks if we want to win; we have to put in the net.”

The Jets got rolling early as Little scored just nine seconds into the game to get this road trip off on a good note.

The Jets also went 2-4 on the power play which is a good sign, although they did give up a power play goal the penalty killers were good as the Blue Jackets went 1-5.

“We hit the post but those don’t count as goals,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “The third period we generated some chances. There was some positive energy in the building. We built some momentum on the bench. There was a different feel to the third period than the first two. The big difference than the first two is we came out with our legs and went after them.”

This was a physical affair as the Jets were out hit by the Blue Jackets 36-26. Although they were a bit sloppy and tentative in the neutral zone in the third period the Jets were bailed out by Hutchinson on numerous occasions.

This game featured a lot of rough stuff and had a fairly good tussle between two of the leagues heavy weights as Chris Thorburn of the Jets and Jarret Boll of the Blue Jackets had a very spirited tilt that lasted around two minutes.

“I really felt even leading up to the game we were ready,” Richards said. “That first goal set us back and put us on our heels. We were able to score on the power play, so it was a 1-1 game. But if you look at skating, playing, moving forward, I don’t think we did that till the third period.”

The Jets got multi-point games from Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Little, Kane, and Jacob Trouba. Trouba also led all skaters with just under twenty five minutes of ice time.

The Jets may have some bad news as Mathieu Perreault left the game after the second period with an upper body injury. Earlier in the day it was announced that forward T.J. Galiardi was placed on waivers he was pointless in 17 games this year.

The Jets will head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres in the second half of this back-to-back series.

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