Another strong 5 on 5 performance by the Winnipeg Jets, coupled with a resurgence by the special teams units helped the Jets gain a 4-2 win on the road and secure a positive record on this road trip, improving to 3-1-0 with 1 game to go on Tuesday against the Rangers.
Martin Brodeur was a late scratch for New Jersey, as he left the pre-game skate early and gave way to Johan Hedberg, who played his second game in as many days, as did his counterpart Ondrej Pavelec.
In what is a continuing streak on this road trip, the Jets opened the scoring for the fourth straight game as Zach Bogosian notched his first of the year, as he used hsi surgically repaired wrist to put one passed Johan Hedberg just 2:30 into this one. He may have been fired up by a real dandy of a knuckle chess bout between Anthony Peluso and Krystofer Barch the previous shift, as Peluso fought for his first time as a Jet and sent a bloody Barch to the dressing room for some attention.
The Jets were not able to hold the lead, as Winnipegger Travis Zajac found out that Ondrej Pavelec has problems either on odd man rushes or glove side high, so he took advantage of both. Steve Bernier would then score as he jammed the puck between Pavelec's legs, who unfortunately then knocked it into his own net, and the Devils lead after 1 by a score of 2-1.
After going on a 0-for-21 streak of futility on the power play the Jets finally snapped out of it as a slap shot from Grant Clitsome (of all people) eluded Hedberg and tied the game up. The Jets would grab the lead late in the period when, after being hemmed in their own zone, were able to bust out after Evander Kane caused a turnover, got the puck to Alexander Burmistrov who sprung him for a defense splitting breakaway. Hedberg came sprawling out for a desperate poke-check attempt, but it was a deft move by Kane that got the puck by Hedberg and then into the net as the visitors lead 3-2 after 2.
You would have to forgive Jets fans for being nervous after they blew a 3-2 lead after 40 yesterday, but that was not the case tonight. Andrew Ladd wired a loose puck passed Hedberg to make it 4-2. The Devils would have their goalie pulled for about 3 minutes, but to no avail as the Jets hung on 4-2.
- Pavelec again looked pretty good, though going glove high on him on odd man rushes is definitely well known. He'd likely also like the Bernier goal back, as it was him that put it in the net. Still turned aside 24 of 26 shots that will help push his save percentage towards 90 on the year.
- Special teams did their job on the day, going 2 for 2 on penalty kill, with Kane and Burmi getting some short handed chacnes. The power play found life via a Clitty Clitty, Bang Bang.
- Dustin Byfuglien "wrenched something" after giving the boards a hip check, and Antti Miettinen played 17 seconds total, as his return shift was shortened by a puck to the groin. Both are described as day to day, as impact injuries usually are, but "day to day" has been known to vary significantly when coming out of the mouth of Coach Claude Noel.
- Andrew Ladd leads all Captains in the NHL with 10 goals, and his tenth was pretty nice, sniping one top shelf glove side on Moose Hedberg.
- Evander Kane had a beauty of a goal this afternoon, and now has 4 goals in his last 5 games. His defensive play has also been stellar, as was noticeable on his PK time and it was his takeaway that directly lead to his goal.
- Anthony Peluso can punch hard, often, and effectively. He didn't get drawn into anything as he did in his debut against the Flyers earlier this month. Krys Barch will think twice before dropping them with Peluso again.
- Back to back games are not a strong suit of any team, especially the Jets. So it was nice to see the Jets get something out of this back to back series.
- The LLW line continues to produce, as Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler each had two assists to go along with Ladd's goal.
- The refs literally blew a call at one point, whistling a play dead that never should have been and ended up costing the Devils a goal.
- The Rangers are the last stop on the February road trip, with a guaranteed positive record on the road trip. Their next home game is Thursday against New Jersey, as this is a home and home series for the Devils.