Recap: Winnipeg Jets stave off Minnesota Wild in a high scoring affair

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty, but the Winnipeg Jets managed to escape their match-up with the Minnesota Wild victorious.


Well, that was a wild one.

Yes, the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild treated fans to such a barn-burner that it took us a full two days to formulate a recap. That's how good it was.

Like a fine wine, the events that unfolded had to age just the right amount before they could be fully enjoyed and consumed. So let's get to it.

Early and often would be the theme of Friday's game as it took only two minutes before Wild forward Dany Heatley gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. The former Wisconsin Badger swept a one-timer past an unsuspecting Ondrej Pavelec after yet another gaffe in the Jets' defensive zone.

By the five minute mark of the period, the Jets had not only tied things up but taken a lead of their own on goals by Evander Kane (SH) and Olli Jokinen.

Two minutes later, the Wild found themselves in front once again. Justin Fontaine and noted scorer Stephane Veilleux each potted ten seconds apart, signalling the end for a frustrated and clearly rusty Pavelec.

Enter Al Montoya and another Jets' comeback.

While Claude Noel made the right decision to pull his shaky starter, Mike Yeo had no such option and was forced to ride out Niklas Backstrom for the duration of the game. By the end of the opening frame, another pair of Jets' scores from Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien had Winnipeg up 4-3.

What. A. Period.

Fortunately for the coaching staffs of both teams, order would restore in the following two stanzas, if only because goaltending on both sides seemingly improved.

The Wild struck on the power play early in the second as Mikko Koivu capitalized on a beautiful passing play tying things at 4-4.

It was midway through the third period when the Jets would finally take the lead for good. Wheeler found himself at the mouth of the goal crease with a loose puck staring him in the face. He was able to deftly shovel it under a sprawling Backstrom for his second of the game, re-igniting the raucous MTS Centre.

A Tobias Enstrom 200-foot empty net goal salted away a 6-4 Jets' victory late in the third.

With the win they are now 4-11-3 against Central Division opponents, a record they will hope to improve tonight as they visit an upstart Colorado Avalanche squad.

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