August 3, 2015


Record: 43 – 26 – 13

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Winnipeg Jets

Win came lightning-quick

Jets head home happy after striking in OT for 2-1 victory

Winnipeg Jets winger Chris Thorburn (right) shoots on Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (left) as Lightning defenceman Matt Carle moves in during the first period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Dana Tyrell (front) works to play the puck while down on the ice along with Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya (right) during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler (centre) celebrates his first-period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammate Jacob Trouba (right) during the first period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (bottom) is crushed under Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya in the crease during the first period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's B.J. Crombeen (left) drops the gloves with the Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart (left) loses his helmet during his fight with Tampa Bay Lightning winger B.J. Crombeen during the first period.
The sticks come up as the Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (left) collides with the Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little during the first period.
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien (front) breaks out after getting past Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat during the first period.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback makes a save against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period.
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat battles with Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart for the puck during the second period.
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Teddy Purcell (right) is hooked by Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba during the second period.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson celebrates after scoring with 0.2 seconds left in the second period.
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya grabs a shot by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (front)makes a save on a shot by Winnipeg Jets winger Anthony Peluso (centre) as Lightning's J.T. Brown defends during the third period.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback stays down as the puck bounces out of the net after getting beaten by Mark Scheifele in overtime.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback skates off after getting beaten in overtime while the Jets celebrate.
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Mark Barberio (left) skates off as the Winnipeg Jets celebrate their game-winning overtime goal for a 2-1 win.
Winnipeg Jets winger Chris Thorburn (right) shoots on Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (left) as Lightning defenceman Matt Carle moves in during the first period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Dana Tyrell (front) works to play the puck while down on the ice along with Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya (right) during the first period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Winnipeg Jets winger Blake Wheeler (centre) celebrates his first-period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with teammate Jacob Trouba (right) during the first period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Martin St. Louis (bottom) is crushed under Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya in the crease during the first period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
The Tampa Bay Lightning's B.J. Crombeen (left) drops the gloves with the Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart during the first period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart (left) loses his helmet during his fight with Tampa Bay Lightning winger B.J. Crombeen during the first period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
The sticks come up as the Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (left) collides with the Winnipeg Jets forward Bryan Little during the first period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Winnipeg Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien (front) breaks out after getting past Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat during the first period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback makes a save against the Winnipeg Jets during the second period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat battles with Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart for the puck during the second period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Teddy Purcell (right) is hooked by Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba during the second period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Nate Thompson celebrates after scoring with 0.2 seconds left in the second period. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Winnipeg Jets goalie Al Montoya grabs a shot by the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback (front)makes a save on a shot by Winnipeg Jets winger Anthony Peluso (centre) as Lightning's J.T. Brown defends during the third period. - Chris O'Meara / The Associated Press
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback stays down as the puck bounces out of the net after getting beaten by Mark Scheifele in overtime. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Anders Lindback skates off after getting beaten in overtime while the Jets celebrate. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
The Tampa Bay Lightning's Mark Barberio (left) skates off as the Winnipeg Jets celebrate their game-winning overtime goal for a 2-1 win. - Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/multimedia/fp-slideshow/Winnipeg-Jets-vs-Tampa-Bay-Lightning-Dec-7-2013-234921571.html

TAMPA, FLA — It happened in a flash... a break from the hockey gods at one end, a nifty pass and a deft finish at the other. And in those few seconds the mood on the Winnipeg Jets' long flight home from Florida late Saturday must have turned from funereal to festive.

The Jets salvaged their up-and-down six-game road trip through the Eastern Conference with a 2-1 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night, a result that gave them eight of a possible 12 points on the trek and improved their record to 14-13-4.

Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT
Jets goalie Al Montoya takes a seat atop diminutive Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

TRIBUNE MEDIA MCT

Dirk Shadd / Tampa Bay Times / MCT Jets goalie Al Montoya takes a seat atop diminutive Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We have a long flight home," said Jets goaltender Al Montoya, who kicked out 28 of 29 shots, "and I'll tell you what, going home with this on our shoulders is going to feel really good."

 

SALVAGING VS. SIFTING THROUGH THE WRECKAGE

How fine is the line between winning and losing in the NHL? The Jets gave up the equalizer Saturday night with .2 seconds remaining in the second period and then had Alex Killorn clang one off the post in the first minute of OT.

Seconds later Blake Wheeler is feeding Mark Scheifele for the winner, turning the road trip from 3-2-1 to 4-2.

And given this team's occasional fragility, heading home with just one point from the final two games in Florida would had this squad tighter than the bolts on a new bridge heading into Tuesday's home date against the St. Louis Blues.

"Three-and-three would not have felt very good, especially being up 1-0, but I don't know we expected it to be a 1-0 game after 60 minutes," said Jets' coach Claude Noel. "Certainly 4-2 is a lot more comforting for us. It would have been disappointing to go home 3-3. For us, that would have been tough.

""We played hard, we played smart, we were going. We were doing a lot of good things. We were following the game plan. We had a little more trouble in our D-zone in the second period. That, and getting pucks behind their defencemen. That was one of the problems. We didn't get pucks deep.

"We'd be out there longer and we were in our D-zone longer, therefore we're giving up more things. But for the most part, we played a good, solid game."

 

THE LATE DRAMATICS

Wheeler, who was outstanding with a goal and an assist, watched as a media throng went straight to Scheifele after the game. Devin Setoguchi, sitting beside Wheeler, quipped: 'Wheels gets a goal and an apple (assist) and you guys go straight to the rookie? No respect."

"It was a great pass by Wheels. I owe it all to him," said Scheifele, speaking loud enough for Wheeler to overhear. "He was able to find my stick."

Wheeler was not one of the three stars chosen by the Tampa media Saturday -- they selected Montoya, Lightning netminder Anders Lindback and defenceman Radko Gudas -- but was arguably the best Jet with his two points, four shots, hit and blocked shot.

And the fact it came after an awful performance by the Jets' No. 1 line in the loss to Florida was significant for the visitors.

"Sometimes the puck starts to find you a little bit," said Wheeler with a shrug. "Sometimes you go a stretch where it seems like it's staying away from you and you start to lose faith a little bit. But that was big. I think our focus was in the right place tonight. For me it was about getting into those scoring areas and have pucks go off me. Sometimes they go in the net."

And, in many ways, it could be said the inconsistency in Wheeler's game this season simply mirrors that of the team. When they are engaged and paying attention to detail, they look like a playoff-calibre squad. And when he/they don't...

"We were kind of in a tough spot coming on the road," said Wheeler. "We weren't really playing that well and we're starting to get some good games. The wins, we played really well in, and the losses, we played not-so well in. There's definitely a black and white with our team: When we play well we give ourselves a chance to win every night and when we don't we don't give ourselves a chance.

"It's a good learning tool for our group to realize if we bring that consistency every night we're going to start ourselves off right every game."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 8, 2013 B7

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