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The Afterburners: Winnipeg Jets 'Capitalize' on Byfuglien's Crazy Goal, Defeat Washington Capitals 3-2 in Shootout

Two goals in 12 seconds!  We are an offensive juggernaut!  Smiles all around!
Two goals in 12 seconds! We are an offensive juggernaut! Smiles all around!

Well, who saw that coming? After giving up 3rd-period power-play goals to Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin in the 3rd period, the Jets had seven and a half minutes to mount a comback. Normally, one would look at the Jets offensive "firepower" and figure that the game was over, but Claude Noel's team did something that they rarely do. They managed to score some goals!

With Ondrej Pavelec on the bench for the extra-attacker while on a 2-man advantage, Evander Kane scored on the 6-on-3 to pull the Jets within one, and then twelve seconds later it happened. Dustin Byfuglien attempted to dump the puck into the corner, and a crazy ricochet off of a Washington defender's stick caught Tomas Vokoun going the wrong way and the improbable goal tied the game. The fact that the Jets won the shootout on goals from Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little is secondary to the fact that the Jets got any points at all. It's amazing what a little bit of puck luck can do for a team.

The unlikely victory keeps the Jets very much in the hunt for the 8th spot in the East. Combined with the losses that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils (albeit in overtime) suffered tonight, the Jets managed to gain a bit of ground on a few teams, most importantly the Caps. Now sitting at 26-24-6 for 58 points, the Jets are four points behind 8th-place Toronto but only three behind both the Florida Panthers and the Capitals for 3rd in the conference. Many teams have multiple games in hand on the Jets, but those teams need to do something with them before anything can be added to the points column.

Game stats and thoughts on the evening after the jump.

Final - 2.9.2012 1 2 3 OT SO Total
Winnipeg Jets 0 0 2 0 1 3
Washington Capitals 0 0 2 0 0 2

Complete Coverage >

1st Period: No Scoring

2nd Period: No Scoring

3rd Period: 9:46 WSH Alex Ovechkin 23 PP (Alexander Semin, Dennis Wideman) 12:30 WSH Alexander Semin 14 PP (Alex Ovechkin, Dennis Wideman) 17:45 WPG Evander Kane 19 PP (Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien) 17:57 WPG Dustin Byfuglien 7 PP (Unassisted)

OT: No Scoring

Shootout: Ovechkin GOAL - Wheeler GOAL - Semin Save - Little GOAL - Perreault Save

Shots: WSH 34 WPG 27

3 Stars: 1) Alex Ovechkin 2) Alex Semin 3) Ondrej Pavelec

Thoughts from the Tarmac

  • I HATE slashing calls that are the result of a broken stick. That Enstrom call was atrocious, as Hendricks slashed Toby's stick twice before it eventually broke. Ironically, it was a playing with a broken stick penalty that gave the Jets the 2-man advantage they needed to tie the game. Still, those penalties have got to go.
  • Did I think that the Jets were going to tie this game up with under 8 minutes to go and being down by two? I have to admit, not really. Our offense hasn't inspired much hope of late. However, getting the two-man advantage that eventually got us our 2 PP goals just showed that the team never gave up, but a 6-on-3 goal and a crazy fluke were needed to do it.
  • Having said that, I love this team for how hard they work. We may not be ultra-talented up front, but boy do we try hard! Seriously though, the effort we get out of these guys is second-to-none.
  • After having only 5 shots through the first 28 minutes of the game, the Jets turned it up a notch and ended up with 26 in regulation plus one more in OT.
  • Intresting to see Zach Bogosian play less then 20 minutes tonight. I guess people need to be on the bench when Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien both play over 28 minutes apiece though! Having said that, Ron Hainsey played 3 more minutes then Bogo, which actually hurts my mind to think about.
  • Noel juggled his lineup around tonight, and it produced some interesting results. Four forwards played more then 20 minutes (Evander Kane, Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler), with Wheels playing 25:13! However, nobody skated less then 10 minutes either.
  • Eric Fehr and Nik Antropov both played sparingly tonight, despite starting the game on the second line. Fehr, who dumped it in on a 3-on-2, played only 10:21 while Antro played only 14:24. It's easy to see why Kane, Ladd, Little and Wheeler so much icetime.
  • Speaking of Fehr and Antro, could there be a pair of slower skaters on the same line? Sure they have size, but what is Kane supposed to do with these guys? There's no way they can keep up with him.
  • I really hope Antti Miettinen scores one soon, as I have really liked his game of late. Mittens has done a nice job with Alexander Burmistrov and Aaron Gagnon on the 4th line.
  • How talented are the Capitals up front? The Semin goal featured a fantastic pass, while Ovi's goal was a great shot on the rebound off of the back boards. Sure they've struggled to produce this year, but you cannot deny the talent.
  • Dennis Wideman has certainly benefited from the injury to Mike Green. Two secondary helpers on the PP will certainly help pad your stats. And he's a UFA this summer? He has to love this.
  • Ondrej Pavelec is again the only reason we managed to stay in this game. I love that he got rewarded with the win, because he was unreal in the first half of the game when it seemed that he was the only Jet on the ice.
  • So what now? We have eight games left before the trade deadline, but six of them are at home. As I mentioned above, the teams we are fighting with for playoff positioning all have games in hand on us, some with as many as 3. Are we buyers? Sellers? Both? Neither?
  • Up next is an afternoon visit to Pittsburgh on Saturday, where the Penguins have been sitting around doing nothing since Tuesday. Which of course means that Friday night is all about scoreboard watching. I love this time of year!