It wasn't the most exciting of games; nay, it was the exact opposite. For the first two periods of tonight's contest, the Winnipeg Jets and Detroit Red Wings played at the pace of a chess match between two eighty-year-olds. But it would be Winnipeg who outlasted their Michigan-based opponents, earning their second straight shootout victory in as many games.
Detroit raced out to an early start, registering six shots in the opening minutes of the game whilst pinning the Jets back on their heels. However, it was Winnipeg who capitalized first as Bryan Little netted his eleventh of the year thanks to a delicate set-up feed from Blake Wheeler off a three-on-two rush.
Winnipeg would relinquish the lead nearly seven minutes later when Henrik Zetterberg found a wide-open Pavel Datsyuk on a Red Wings power play. Datsyuk ably snapped a shot into a yawning cage past a helpless Ondrej Pavelec, knotting the score at one-all.
The game remained tied through the middle stanza as play was bogged down by defensive tactics and less-than-stellar ice conditions. Though the second period allowed for a much-needed catnap, it set the stage an important final frame.
The Jets reclaimed their lead midway through the last period when Zach Bogosian patiently scooped a backhand pass from Olli Jokinen in the high slot, out-mauvering a flat-footed Kyle Quincey and depositing the puck into Detroit's net. Bogosian's first of the season had Winnipeg poised for a hard-fought road win.
Enter Pavel Datsyuk (again).
In typical Jets' fashion, they found themselves trying to kill off an ill-timed 5-on-3 man advantage late in the third after a pair of stick infractions were levied against Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane. As the first penalty expired, Datsyuk was able to collect a rebound at the side of the net and slid his shot past Winnipeg's outstretched net-minder, tying things at 2-2 and forcing overtime.
Despite drawing a late power play, Winnipeg was unable to capitalize in the extra frame and fans were treated to yet another shootout. Goals by Devin Setoguchi and Andrew Ladd were enough to cancel a tally by Daniel Alfredsson and the Jets went on to earn their third straight win. Do you hear that? It's the Winnipeg Jets. They're officially rolling.
Winnipeg will now set their sights on a visit from the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday evening at the MTS Centre.
- Despite being heavily outplayed during multiple stretches in this game, the Jets were able to hang around and ultimately earn the victory. Big props to Ondrej Pavelec who stopped 41 of 43 shots in the win.
- Seriously, how good has Bryan Little been this year? His goal tonight already marks his eleventh of the season and he is on pace to score thirty for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2008-09. Talk about money well spent. #straightcashhomie
- On the other end of the spectrum, it was really good to see Zach Bogosian reach the score-sheet after a sluggish start to his year. Hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come for the robustly-paid defenceman.
- With the loss, the Red Wings are presently in the midst of a six game home losing streak. The last time they lost six in a row at the Joe Louis, it was 1988 and I was two years old. That's how impressive this team has been for the better part of two decades. Or perhaps it underscores how devastatingly bad you have to be to go that long without a win at home.
- Having said that, these aren't your older brother's Red Wings. They are a team that exudes a bleh kind of vibe and possesses a quarter of the firepower they once did. If not for the duo of Datsyuk and Zetterberg, they'd likely be in dire straights. Seriously, no one else is scoring goals in Detroit right now.
- How pretty was that Zetterberg feed on Datsyuk's first goal? Sure, Ladd was slightly out of position, but Zetterberg still had to thread a needle to set up a wide open Datsyuk.
- James Wright catches a lot of flack -- and usually it's just -- but what a play by Pavel Datsyuk to knock down his clearing attempt moments before he scored the game-tying goal.
- It was said during the broadcast that Claude Noel sat down his fourth line of Eric Tangradi, James Wright and Chris Thorburn to tell them how well they played against San Jose. Is that why they combined on four shifts tonight's third period? *shrugs*
- You have to figure the law of averages will even out at some point but boy, Winnipeg's power play is atrocious. They are now 1-for-47 over their recent stretch, which is really, super bad.
- Good news is that Andrew Ladd is now 5-for-5 in the shootout this season, so that's legit.