WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Evander Kane's energetic play seems to be inspiring the Winnipeg Jets.
Kane made his presence felt everywhere on the ice Saturday night, scoring the game's first goal and adding an empty-netter late in Winnipeg's 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
``You can see that (Kane is) playing with confidence,' Jets coach Claude Noel said. ``His speed seems to be wearing off on his linemates, as well, because it looks like (Bryan) Little's got a little bit more of a step, it looks like (Blake) Wheeler's got a step, as well.
``So it looks like it's a good thing that's happening with our group.'
Little picked up a pair assists, forward Alexander Burmistrov had a short-handed goal and defenseman Mark Stuart scored the winner with less than 7 minutes left.
``I'm executing better and playing smarter and burying my chances,' said Kane, who leads the jets with 14 goals this season. ``When I do that things happen for me.'
Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias scored for New Jersey, which lost despite outshooting the Jets 25-20.
Ondrej Pavelec, making his 23rd start of the season, was in net for Winnipeg. He was coming off a 1-0 shutout of the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday.
Johan Hedberg took the loss for New Jersey.
``Right now when we give up opportunities, we're giving up real, real quality opportunities,' said Devils forward Zach Parise, who assisted on Elias' goal.
``Throughout the course of the game we're not giving them much, but when we are it's breakaways or real Grade A chances so that's hurting us.'
Kane scored his first goal when a shot from defenseman Dustin Byfuglien deflected off his stick past Hedberg at 1:42 of the first period.
New Jersey answered 4 minutes later with a low shot from Henrique that beat Pavelec on the glove side.
The teams each had six shots on goal in a tight-checking first period.
The Devils went ahead 2-1 with less than 3 minutes left in the second when Elias scored his ninth goal of the season on a two-man advantage. The Jets quickly tied it 2-2 on a short-handed goal by Burmistrov just over a minute later.
Winnipeg got a bit of a scare early in the third period when Kane fell while barreling to the net with the puck and banged his leg against the post. He briefly remained on the ice, but skated to the bench on his own and soon returned.
Kane put in his empty-netter unassisted with 32 seconds left.
Notes: Winnipeg improved to 7-4-0 at home in front of a sellout crowd of 15,004. ... New Jersey's four-game slide is its longest of the season ... The Jets host Boston on Tuesday, while the Devils travel to Toronto for a game against the Maple Leafs the same night.
The Associated Press News Service
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