Who saw this coming?
After losing three-straight at home before embarking on a five-game roadie, things were looking pretty bad for the boys. But the Winnipeg Jets managed to do something very impressive, winning four out of five away from the MTS Centre in what can only be described as an incredibly successful road trip, capping it off with a big 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.
The first period was played to a scoreless tie and didn't give us much to report. The Jets did out-shoot the Rangers 9-7, though.
The Jets took over the game in the 2nd period though, as they built up a 3-1 on a pair of goals from Olli Jokinen and one from Evander Kane while Ryan Callahan responded for the Rangers. Winnipeg out-shot the home team by a 17-12 margin in one of their better periods of the year in my opinion.
The 3rd period was a very entertaining one, as the Rangers made it close midway through the 3rd as Taylor Pyatt tipped home a beauty past Ondrej Pavelec to close the gap to one, but Evander Kane added his second of the nigh as he rifled a soft one past King Henrik Lundqvist just 20 second later. However, Anton Stralman scored less than a minute later to make it another one-goal game, but despite a late power-play and some good chances the Rangers never found the equalizer.
The Jets now return home for a date with the New Jersey Devils this Thursday night, and do so as a team that is back to .500 and back in the mix for a playoff berth. This road trip, while fantastic, could have been even better if they managed to keep their lead in Philly the other day, but the 8 points earned are nothing to scoff at.
- Evander Kane is en fuego! Kane added two goals and assist to keep alive his league-leading 8-game point scoring streak in another dominant game, and he once again led all Jets forwards in ice-time with 21:42 and shots with 7.
- Olli Jokinen added two goals as he keeps up his better play of late, and he did so on a line with James Wright and Anthony Peluso. That's mighty impressive, and it goes to show that PDO does regress to the mean.
- Speaking of Peluso, he may have cemented his spot in the lineup as he notched his first two NHL points with assists on Kane's first of the night and Jokinen's second. The big guy also more than doubled his career ice-time with 7:36 of TOI. Awesome stuff.
- We saw the good and the bad of Dustin Byfuglien today. His amazing move at the blue-line kept the play alive for Jokinen's second goal, but his defensive coverage left a little to be desired as well. The pairing of Buff and Grant Clitsome continue to scare, though the two did combine to be +7 on the night.
- James Wright continues to be a bright spot, as the waiver-wire pickup has obviously earned his coaches trust as he put in 14:24 of work tonight. He finished +1 while getting in 18 shifts.
- Hard to believe that Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler would do nothing tonight as they'd been hot of late, but the trio all finished with zero points and a -1 apiece.
- Zach Bogosian led all Jets with 24:58 of ice-time. Thank goodness he's back. Though he finished -2 on the night, I thought Bogo was once again solid on the night.
- Though I wasn't pleased with the third goal that Ondrej Pavelec let in, I thought he was pretty good on the night. He did just enough to earn the victory, which I guess is all we can ask for, though he did look like he was rolling and flopping around a little bit.
- Poor Kyle Wellwood. I'm not sure he gets back into the lineup anytime soon. Peluso and Wright look to have earned coach Noel's trust, but I'm wondering if Chris Thorburn is running out of favour, too. Thor finished with only 5:28 of ice-time, least on the team.
- The Jets couldn't beat Martin Biron in either of their two games at MSG last year, yet they torched Lundqvist for four tonight. Hey, I guess that's why you play the games.