AT THE MTS CENTRE
Who had the Winnipeg Jets near the top of the Eastern Conference after 63 games? Thanks to Florida's shootout loss against Minnesota Thursday, the Jets are in sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division (one point up on the Panthers) and with that standing, claim third in the East. Of note: Florida has four games in hand on the Jets, so there is still a lot of hockey to be played, folks.
The Jets grab points in five straight games (4-0-1) and have scored at least three goals over that span. The club continues to roll at MTS Centre: Nineteen wins in 31 games in downtown Winnipeg.
Given the AHL-quality lineup the Lightning are playing with, the turning point Thursday came on Tanner Glass's goal with five minutes to play in the first period. A two-goal disadvantage early must feel like climbing a mountain for Tampa Bay these days. That's what it looked like, anyway.
Free Press 'Ö'Ö'Ö
-- Adam Wazny
1. Winnipeg, Ladd 20 (Little, Wheeler) 7:11
2. Winnipeg, Glass 5 (Thorburn, Flood) 14:59
Penalties -- None.
3. Winnipeg, Ladd 21 (Kane, Byfuglien) 1:36 (pp)
4. Winnipeg, Byfuglien 10 (Wheeler, Ladd) 2:48 (pp)
Penalties -- Hedman TB (delay of game) 0:14, Malone TB (interference) 2:39, Byfuglien Wpg (roughing) 8:15, Hedman TB, Wheeler Wpg (roughing) 13:49.
5. Tampa Bay, Stamkos 43 (Malone, Purcell) 11:00 (pp)
6. Tampa Bay, Purcell 16 (Stamkos) 19:06
7. Tampa Bay, St. Louis 19 (Purcell, Stamkos) 19:51 (pp)
Penalties -- Wheeler Wpg (cross-checking) 0:12, Stapleton Wpg (tripping) 3:08, Kane Wpg (slashing) 10:13, Gilroy TB (tripping) 16:14, Malone TB (roughing), Glass Wpg (cross-checking; served by Stapleton), Glass Wpg (roughing) 19:43.
Shots on goal by
Goal (shots-saves) -- Tampa Bay: Garon (L,19-16-4)(18-14), Roloson (2:48 second; 16-16); Winnipeg: Pavelec (W,23-20-7).
Power plays (goals-chances) -- Tampa Bay: 2-5; Winnipeg: 2-3.
Referees -- Ghislain Hebert, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen -- Shane Heyer, Thor Nelson.
Attendance -- 15,004 (15,004).