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Jets' Pavelec on gaffe: 'I lost the puck in the stands and it just went in'

Anne-Marie Sorvin / USA Today

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec declined to meet with reporters on Tuesday night after allowing one of the worst goals of the season in a 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

He faced the music after practice Wednesday and explained what led to the blunder.

"With a minute left, I thought (Blues defenseman Barret Jackman) was going to dump it in," Pavelec said. "(Jets defenseman Jacob) Trouba was right between us. I lost the puck in the stands and it just went in. That happened at a bad time."

Jackman's goal from center ice killed a three-goal third-period rally by Winnipeg after the Jets overcame a 4-1 deficit to tie the game.

"Listen, I didn't play for three weeks," Pavelec said. "I didn't play for three weeks and I just went in. It was 4-1, I just tried to have fun and enjoy the game. I was happy I was in the game, but obviously what happened happened."

Pavelec relieved starter Michael Hutchinson in the second period after Hutchinson allowed four goals on seven shots.

"You don't get confidence in 20 minutes if you didn't play for three weeks," Pavelec said. "You're not happy you have to go in. You're losing 4-1. It's not a situation you want to be in."

The veteran netminder refused to characterize himself as frustrated about being usurped as the team's starting goaltender.

"Everybody wants to play and that's why you play the games, but we (have been) winning, we're in a battle for the playoffs, so nothing else matters."

Jets head coach Paul Maurice has already made up his mind about Thursday's game against the Florida Panthers.

It would appear Hutchinson's job is safe for now.

- With h/t to Pro Hockey Talk

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