WINNIPEG – Zach Bogosian thanked the electric atmosphere in the MTS Centre on Saturday for his goal and two assists in the Winnipeg Jets’ 5-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Cheers filled the arena for most of the game as fans rooted for their Jets, but also for Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who made his much-anticipated return to Winnipeg.
“You just feed off the crowd,” said Bogosian, who scored his second goal of the season. “Even though they were cheering for him, obviously they were behind us and it was a great atmosphere.”
Selanne started his illustrious 19-year NHL career in Winnipeg, setting rookie records with 76 goals and 132 points in a 1992-93 season Jets fans have never forgotten.
“It was something that I could never imagine,” said Selanne, who threw two of his sticks into the crowd after the game. “It was so special tonight. It was a tough loss, but I was really excited every second.”
He was cheered early on when he touched the puck and his teammates were booed.
Kyle Wellwood had a goal and an assist while Blake Wheeler, Alex Burmistrov and Andrew Ladd also scored for the Jets (15-13-4). Dustin Byfuglien added two assists.
Corey Perry scored a pair of goals for Anaheim (9-18-5) and Niklas Hagman added another. Selanne and Ryan Getzlaf contributed two assists.
Chris Mason turned away 33 shots for Winnipeg, while Dan Ellis stopped 26 shots for the Ducks.
When Selanne’s assists were announced, he was also cheered. The 41-year-old Finn leads the Ducks in points this season with 10 goals and 23 assists.
“It was cool to be a part of and it was classy by the fans to cheer for him and classy for him to kind of come out there and salute the fans,” Bogosian said.
Fans were chanting Selanne’s first name before the national anthems were played, but the Ducks forward didn’t have much to smile about early in the first period.
By the time a video tribute to the Finnish Flash was shown on the scoreboard about eight minutes into the game, the Jets had already jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the goals by Wellwood and Wheeler.
Hagman scored Anaheim’s first goal and Perry evened the game 2-2 with his 13th goal of the season when he beat Mason with less than two minutes to play in the opening period.
“I was happy we won the game and thought they gave us all we could handle,” Jets coach Claude Noel said. “Certainly from a physicality stand point their big line was really difficult to handle. You can see how when you’re dealing with an MVP in the league last year (in Perry), and you can see why.
“They did a lot of things that it didn’t matter who we put out against them they struggled to handle both their weight and their press-up game.”
Burmistrov gave the Jets the 3-2 lead just 31 seconds into the second period and Ladd padded the score to 4-2 with his 10th of the season with 1:40 left in the period.
Bogosian’s long shot went through Ellis’ pads at 2:49 of the third.
Winnipeg forward Chris Thorburn was sent to the penalty box for tripping at 10:18 of the third, and Perry tipped in his second of the game eight seconds later.
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau thought Ladd’s goal, which went off his foot, should have been reviewed for goalie interference, even though his player knocked a Jet into Ellis.
He was also lukewarm on Ellis’ play between the pipes.
“The fifth goal shouldn’t have gone in,” said Boudreau. “There was a couple others where I didn’t think the goalie did a good job of keeping us in the game when he needed to keep us in the game. They gotta make those saves.”
The Jets were 1-2 on the power play and the Ducks 1-4.
Winnipeg plays its fourth game of a six-game homestand Tuesday when they host the New York Islanders.
The Ducks, who were coming off a 4-1 loss Friday to Chicago, travel to Dallas for a game against the Stars on Monday.