The Jets came into Carolina looking to steal two points and come within two points of the Southeast Division leading Hurricanes. Mission accomplished.
After a 1-1 tie through 40 minutes, and a flurry of five goals in the third period, the Jets picked up another character win, downing the Canes 4-3.
Blake Wheeler opened the scoring early in the game and sealed it with the game-winner late in the third to help lift the Jets to victory. Andrew Ladd added a goal and two assists in his 500th NHL career game, and Evander Kane tallied his fifth of the year.
"It wasn't the prettiest game we're going to win but it doesn't matter, it's two points in the standings against a division rival," said Wheeler. "You have to give all the credit in the world to Pavs, he stood on his head for us and waited for us to find our game and we were able to find it later on."
Ondrej Pavelec was incredible again tonight, making 27 saves for his club. Cam Ward on the other end stopped 19.
The Jets will move on to Philadelphia where they'll face the Flyers in an afternoon affair on Saturday afternoon. Game time is 12 noon on TSN Jets.
The Jets were looking for a strong start against the Hurricanes just as they did on Tuesday night against the Sabres. Things looked a little shaky in the first minute of play as the Jets gave up the puck resulting in a great chance for the Canes. Luckily, Pavelec was alert and able to make a couple of big saves early.
Things quickly turned around as Blake Wheeler ripped a nice wrist shot from the top of the circle that flew past Cam Ward to make it 1-0 early.
The Hurricanes forecheck looked very strong in the early going of this game and it almost paid off for them. Their best chance came shortly after the Jets goal after the Jets turned over the puck in the neutral zone. Chad LaRose quickly charged the net and snapped a quick wrist shot that beat Pavelec but rang off the post and stayed out.
Another costly mistake by the Jets after they tried to get the puck out of their zone resulted in yet another turnover. Alexander Semin took control of the puck, charged the net and instead of making a shot, he sent a nifty backhand pass through the crease onto the tape of Jiri Tlusty to tap the puck past Pavelec. The tying goal came with just 1:21 remaining in the period.
Through 20 minutes, the Jets and Canes were tied 1-1, shots were 10-8 Canes.
The Jets got themselves into a little bit of penalty trouble early in the second period. Blake Wheeler took an unsportsmanlike penalty at 3:43 after he got a little heated about a no-call on the ice. Just over a minute into the kill, Clitsome went off for interference as he tried to pinch out his man along the boards. The Jets struggling penalty kill went to work short two players for 55 seconds. Thanks to some good goaltending and a great effort by guys like Mark Stuart blocking shots left right and centre, the Jets successfully killed off the penalty.
The penalty issues tilted to the Hurricanes bench in the final minutes of the period. It started with Jay Harrison going off for interference. Then 50 seconds later, Joe Corvo tripped up Alex Burmistrov sending him to the box for tripping. The Jets had a huge 5-on-3 opportunity for 1:10 with under three minutes to play in the period, but couldn't find a way to put one away and regain the lead.
After two periods, the Jets and Canes were still tied 1-1. Shots were 18-14 for the home team.
The Jets were off to a strong start in the final frame as Evander Kane sent a wrist shot past Ward from a tough angle inside the circle. Nik Antropov fanned on the original shot on the play but regained control and was able to dish it off to Kane, who spun and fired from the far right of the circle.
Just 1:27 later, Jordan Staal tied things back up after Harrison won the draw deep in the Jets zone. Harrison blasted one on net that hit a player in front. Staal found the rebound in the slot and sent the bouncing puck through his legs of Pavelec. 2-2 tie at 3:37 of the third.
The third period got a little crazy as the goals started coming fast and furious. Andrew Ladd made it 3-2 at 14:03 from Bryan Little. The Hurricanes won a face-off in front of Pavelec but Little got the puck back and found Ladd in front, who snapped it past Ward.
Under a minute later, Tlusty notched his second of the night after the Jets couldn't get the puck out of their zone. Tlusty gathered up the loose puck and raced in on net and wristed a shot that beat Pavelec to tie the game.
16 seconds later, Wheeler answered back to regain the lead. After the Canes turned it over in the neutral zone, Wheeler, a step ahead, charged into the slot and released a great shot that flew into the back of the net.
Wheeler's second goal of the night wound up to be the game-winner as time ticked down in the wild third period. The Jets hold out for the 4-3 final in Carolina and improve to 2-0 on the road trip so far.
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