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The Afterburners: Jets Outlast Devils; Win 4-2

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In a battle for the ages (it really wasn't), the Winnipeg Jets were able to outlast the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-2.

With the win, the Jets now leap-frog both the Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning as they have taken their last two home games at the MTS Centre and sit 11th in the East.

Evander Kane played the role of hero again tonight as the young Jet winger scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season, one of which was an insurance marker he banked into New Jersey's empty net with only thirty-two seconds remaining.

The 20 year old product of Vancouver, BC now sits 6th overall in the Maurice "Rocket" Richard race and is riding a five game point streak while scoring thirteen points in his last eleven games.

For a New Jersey perspective, check out our SB Nation pals over at IN LOU WE TRUST.

Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was again called upon to steal a win for the Jets, making twenty-three saves as he recorded his 9th win of the season.

In a game that featured two teams counter-punching goals through two periods, it was a Mark Stuart centering pass which bounced awkwardly off Devils' goaltender Johan Hedberg and into the net which would stand as the winner.

Though the Devils would control the final five minutes of the third period, they could not solve Pavelec who has responded commendably since getting shellacked by the Ottawa Senators last Tuesday.

Since giving up five goals in their loss to the Senators, Pavelec has posted a shutout versus the Phoenix Coyotes and showed flashes of brilliance tonight in a game the Jets needed to win.

For the Devils, they have now lost four straight and will take the ice again Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Adam Henrique was again the proverbial thorn the side of the Winnipeg Jets, scoring for his third goal in two games versus the Jets.

Patrick Elias provided the other Devils marker (while posting a gruesome -4) on the powerplay mid-way through the second, temporarily giving the Devils their only lead of the game. Moments later, Alexander Burmistrov would score a short-handed goal to knot the game again.

Former franchise superstar Ilya Kovalchuk made his debut against the new incarnation of the Atlanta Thrashers, managing only an assist and a smattering of boos (seriously, can we stop with the booing?) in a losing effort. Kovalchuk was held out of the line-up in November when both teams faced off in Newark, NJ.

Winnipeg is now 3rd in the Southeast Division (4 6 points behind Florida) will host the current Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

In their last meeting, the Bruins capitalized on multiple Winnipeg errors and two Chris Kelly goals were enough to land the Jets by a score of 4-2.

Final - 12.3.2011 1 2 3 Total
New Jersey Devils 1 1 0 2
Winnipeg Jets 1 1 2 4

Complete Coverage >

1st Period: 01:42 Winnipeg ES Goal, Evander Kane (13) (Dustin Byfuglien, Bryan Little); 05:53 New Jersey ES Goal, Adam Henrique (6) (Zach Parise, Ilya Kovalchuk)

2nd Period: 17:17 New Jersey ES Goal, Patrick Elias (9) (Adam Larsson); 18:24 Winnipeg SH Goal, Alexander Burmistrov (6) (Bryan Little)

3rd Period: 13:13 Winnipeg ES Goal, Mark Stuart (3) (Blake Wheeler, Zach Bogosian); 19:28 Winnipeg EN Goal, Evander Kane (14) (unassisted)

Shots: Winnipeg 20, New Jersey 25

3 Stars: 1. Evander Kane 2. Zach Parise 3. Bryan Little

Ed. Note: There will be no 10 thoughts tonight as I did not watch the game. Sorry to all who enjoy this feature, I will bring it back with my next edition of The Afterburners.