USA TODAY Sports
The Jets got off to a strong start, going 2-0 in the first, but let the Panthers battle back to force OT before big Dustin Byfuglien wired home a winner in the extra period.
The first period saw the Jets get the kind of start they likely were hoping for on Tuesday when these teams last met. Captain Andrew Ladd opened the scoring just 2:35 into the game, despite the net crashing efforts of Blake Wheeler, as a wrister got through Jacob Markstrom and squeaked over the line before Wheels knocked the net off it's moorings. The first "slashing" call of the night went to Jim Slater 8:37 in, as he got called when a Florida player was to feeble to hold onto their stick. A bad call, but the much improved Jets penalty kill stood tall and killed it off. That kill was important, as Blake Wheeler would absolutely snipe a shot when left to walk into the slot unchallenged. The Jets would fail to escape the period with a 2-0 lead, as Jonathan Huberdeau notched his 12th of the season to make it 2-1 with just 14.8 seconds left on the clock, as the Jets ended the period on a sloppy note. The Jets may have been a little peeved, as Nolan Yonkman first intered with Eric Tangradi then instigated a fight, yet escaped earning a penalty for either infraction with 38 seconds left in the period.
The Jets killed their 19th consecutive penalty when AC Slater ended up in the box again for knocking a stick out of a the hands of a Panther. The best chance of the PK actually went to James Wright was denied by a glorious glove save by Markstrom, leaving Wright still in search of his first goal as a Jet. The Jets would get a power play attempt of their own, but the chances all went to the worst penalty kill unit in the league, as the Jets continue to implode with the extra man. A Kyle Wellwood penalty ended the powerplay, who were a man down going into the second intermission. Fenwick will surely tell the talk of the last 10 minutes of this period, as the Jets started the period strong, but faded mightily down the stretch.
The Jets managed to kill the penalty off, their 20th in a row, but still started slowly. The Jets took some time to get going, with Ladd and Wheels getting chances, but with 14:10 left Shawn Matthias tied it up when a terrible attempt to leave the zone by Grant Clitsome resulted in a turnover and a 2 on 1 that Buff and Pavelec were unable to stop, as the Jets saw their 2 goal lead disappear, as it was all tied up 5:50 into the period. The wheels continued to fall off the bus as Zach Bogosian was called for holding with 9:18 left. It wasn't the best kill of the night for the Jets, but it still worked as they escaped with the score still 2-2. Despite some ugly play, both teams managed to make it to OT.
With nothing much brewing, it appeared as though this game would head to shootout, and likely 3 gloveside high goals against Pavelec. Nobody told Dustin Byfuglien, however, as he walked off the left halfboards, dipsy doodled through a few Panther players and then snapped a shot by Markstrom to win it 3-2 with 41 seconds left in the extra frame.