For the second time in as many games, the Winnipeg Jets found themselves on the wrong side of a game that was decided in extra time. Tonight it was the shootout heroics of Chris Higgins that broke a 2-2 deadlock, earning the Vancouver Canucks a much needed second point in the standings.
Tonight's game had all the atmosphere of playoff hockey and it was a spirited affair, to say the least.
Tom Sestito and Anthony Peluso got the festivities started early in the first period trading punches to ignite the MTS Centre crowd. These were but two of the fourteen penalties called by the referees in through the initial two periods which led to multiple power plays, on which neither side could capitalize.
The Jets opened the game's scoring in early in the second period as Andrew Ladd wired a snap shot off the crossbar and in, beating Eddie Lack cleanly. Winnipeg had a chance to extend their lead to two but Evander Kane failed to capitalize on a penalty shot he drew by completely undressing Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis.
Fuelled by a flurry of Jets' penalties, Vancouver drew even late in the frame when Alex Burrows tunnelled a rebound past the outstretched pad of Ondrej Pavelec for his first marker in quite literally an aeon.
Michael Frolik regained Winnipeg's advantage in the third on a nifty redirection fed to him by Olli Jokinen. Not to be outdone, Burrows returned for his curtain call with just under nine minutes remaining in the third on yet another broken play.
The two teams played the rest of the stanza to a scoreless draw. Overtime too solved nothing and we were off to the shootout. It was there that the aforementioned Chris Higgins played the role of spoiler after the first five shooters were all blanked, sending the Canucks home with the victory.
Winnipeg has yet to win in their past five attempts and any outside hope at a playoff berth are quickly fleeting. They will next host Martin St. Louis and the New York Rangers this Friday.