Friday, January 25, 2013

Jets Top Pens, Deny Crosby Hat Trick

A two goal first period for Sidney Crosby left the Jets in a hole heading into intermission.  But the Jets would come out of the locker room flying.

Jets 4, Pittsburgh 2

The always sold out MTS Centre got its first look at Sidney Crosby who did not play last season in Winnipeg due to injury.  And Sid the Kid lived up to the hype.  He put the Pittsburgh Penguins up by two scores.  The first came a little over 4 minutes on a slapshot while the second was past the 14:00 mark on the backhand.  It certainly seemed like the Pens were on their way to a victory and a Crosby hat trick.
Goalie Tomas Vokoun was acquired to upgrade the Penguins’situation with long time netminder Marc-Andre Fleury.  This was Vokoun's second start this year.  He shutdown several Winnipeg attempts to sustain offensive pressure in the first period. 

But something Winnipeg Coach Claude Noel said in the lockerroom must have sparked the team because they came out hard and fast.  Evander Kane got the ball rolling with a wrister at 1:10 in the second followed by a Dustin Byfuglien powerplay goal at 13:35, tieing the game.  It was Jets' Captain Andrew Ladd that scored the game winner four and a half minutes later.  An empty net goal just with just 65 seconds left off the stick of Blake Wheeler sealed the first home win for the Jets this year and the second of the season.

Ondrej Pavelec did not let the two goals scored on him in the first phase him.  He responded  under heavy Pittsburgh pressure in the second period’s first eight minutes brilliantly. Pavelec made three point-blank stops on Evgeni Malkin.  Malkin, historically, destroys the Jets.  In thre games last season between the two clubs, he scored three goals and had eight assists.  In all, Pav's had 33 saves.

Both clubs were extrodinarily disciplined tonight.  Winnipeg only committed one penalty (an Olli Jokinen hooking call in the second) and Pittsburgh was only whistled twice.  It just so happens that it was Malkin sent to the box for a hook that allowed the game-tieing powerplay goal.

The Jets will back in action on Sunday as they host the New York Islanders.