In one of their sloppier efforts of the early 2011-12 campaign, the Winnipeg Jets staged a third period comeback, scoring twice in the final frame forcing overtime against the New Jersey Devils before ultimately succumbing in overtime.
After successfully killing the remainder of an Evander Kane hooking penalty to start overtime, the final of many costly Jets neutral zone lapses ended in Adam Henrique's second break-away goal of the night, vaulting the Devils to a 3-2 victory.
Winnipeg's record now falls to (5-6-2), ending their first multi-game win streak of the year at two games. They currently remain thirteenth (13th) place in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
Turnovers again were an issue for the young Jets as Patrick Elias capitalized on a Zach Bogosian gaff early in the second for his 6th goal of the year.
Later in the frame, Dustin Byfuglien was caught handling the puck like a grenade before it was scooped up by Adam Henrique as he fought off a back-checking Kendal McArdle and slipped his shot over the glove of Ondrej Pavelec, putting the Devils up 2-0.
While the Jets were outplayed soundly in the first forty minutes, they definitely owned the final twenty. Winnipeg scored twice on eight shots to tie the game at two, effectively stealing a road point against a team they had no business beating.
A Mark Flood slap shot from the point beat Martin Brodeur cleanly for his first career NHL goal, pulling Winnipeg to within one.
Jim Slater would go on to tie the game on a controversial goal as the Devils felt that Blake Wheeler should have been called for a hooking penalty on Anton Volchenkov before the puck was deposited in the back of their net.
Though valiant, the Jets effort still came up short and they will now play the tail end of their Atlantic back-to-back in Madison Square Garden where they will face the Rangers for the second time this season.
Winnipeg lost their last encounter by a score of 2-1.
1st Period: No Scoring
2nd Period: 04:08 New Jersey ES Goal, Patrick Elias (6) ( Danius Zubrus, Bryce Salvador); 12:59 New Jersey ES Goal, Adam Henrique (2) (Zach Parise)
3rd Period: 06:43 Winnipeg ES Goal, Mark Flood (1) (Dustin Byfuglien); 17:15 Winnipeg ES Goal, Jim Slater (5) (Mark Flood, Dustin Byfuglien)
Overtime: 01:28 New Jersey ES Goal, Adam Henrique (3) (Zach Parise, Adam Larsson)
Shots: Winnipeg 23, New Jersey 28
3 Stars: 1. Adam Henrique 2. Jim Slater 3. Patrick Elias
- If you haven't read it yet, check out Puck Daddy's article on the New Jersey Devils as they struggle with debt problems. Attendance for tonight's game was marked at 14,952, which has been a problem for them ever since building their new rink in Newark.
- Adam Larsson is going to be a stud for the Devils. It's a damn shame that NHL writers value fancy stats when voting for the Calder and Norris trophies because Larsson has been a rock so far. At 23:38 minutes per game, he leads all rookies in TOI and he played a full 24:00 minutes tonight. That's beastly.
- Blake Wheeler just can't score. He must have crossed a gypsy in the off-season because I can't explain his lack of production. He had a solid showing for the Jets, but alas, at some point showing up just isn't enough. It's like being the richest person at the homeless shelter. No one will give him the benefit of the doubt until he gets going.
- Winnipeg dominated the face-off circle, winning 36 of 51 draws (70.5%). Noel went with three centres tonight as Burmistrov, Slater and Little took 48 of their draws.
- Pavelec was at his best again tonight. Without his performance, the Jets would have been throttled.
- From good to bad, the play of Dustin Byfuglien was abhorrent tonight. Yes, abhorrent. I'm actually upset that he ended the game with a +/- of 0 because he hung Festerling out to dry on the winner.
- New Jersey's PK is a spotless 24 of 24 at home this year. That's an impressive stat.
- While speaking of the PK, watching the Jets at a disadvantage is mind numbing. They remind me of the Capitals of three years ago. No pressure on the puck carrier, and they're so disjointed, I can't tell if they're playing large box, passive box or diamond. Explains why they rank 26th in the league.
- Martin Brodeur notched his first win of the season tonight. It was only his second start since returning from a shoulder injury suffered in early October. New Jersey will need him to be as good as he was tonight to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
- In case you didn't know, Bryce Salvador is from Brandon, Manitoba. That will be ingrained in my head for the upcoming week as it seemed to be apparently the only exuding quality to his game that Dean Brown could convey in his play-by-play.