The Winnipeg Jets were hungry for their first win of the season- so hungry that Kyle Wellwood got his team on the scoreboard just eight seconds after the opening face-off tying a franchise record for fastest goal scored to open a game.
They won battles, got to loose pucks, made smart plays and gave everything they had right up until the buzzer went to end the game with the Jets on top 2-1.
Tanner Glass added to the one goal lead in the dying minutes of the opening frame after Burmistrov dished the puck to him for a nice one-timer in front of the Pens net.
Pittsburgh was able to narrow the gap late in the middle frame but that was all that Ondrej Pavelec would let in as he turned away 28 of 29 shots on goal and earned himself the first star of the game.
The Jets hit the road Tuesday for another short two-game road trip starting in Toronto against the Maple Leafs Wednesday, October 19th. Game time is 6:30 pm on TSN and TSN-JETS.
The Jets sure didn't stumble out of the gates tonight as it took just eight seconds to get on the scoreboard and set the tone for the game.
Off the opening face-off, Nik Antropov dished the puck to Alex Burmistrov who made a quick pass over to Kyle Wellwood as the trio raced to the front of the net. Burmistrov made a nifty pass over to Wellwood who completed the tic-tac-toe play putting the puck past Pens' goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Wellwood's goal tied the franchise record for quickest goal to start a game. Ron Petrovicky scored on Dec. 20th, 2003 in Pittsburgh in eight seconds for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Blake Wheeler was first to head to the penalty box as he was caught for holding at 9:36. The Jets penalty kill was put to the test and successful as the Penguins were held to just one shot on net after the power play.
With six minutes left in the opening period, Deryk Engelland and Jets Chris Thorburn dropped the gloves and engaged in a lengthy fight each earning a five-minute fighting major.
With 1:33 to play in the first period, Burmistrov was back at it again winning a huge board battle deep in the Penguins zone. Burmistrov came out of the corner with the puck and dished a nice feed to Tanner Glass racing up centre ice. Glass connected with the one-timer making no mistake sending a laser past Fleury to give the Jets a 2-0 lead. Shots after 20 minutes read 10-7 Jets.
Although there were no goals in the first ten minutes of the period, there was no shortage of close calls on both ends of the ice.
The Penguins were able to catch the Jets on the shot clock at 15 shots but couldn't finish the job. One of the shots came from Jordan Staal that hit Ondrej Pavelec's post and flew right back out to the point, while another trickled along the goal line behind him and straight out to the other side. Jets remained up by two.
In the dying minutes of the period, Pavelec stood on his head absolutely robbing Pascal Dupuis with a chance breaking in all alone. Seconds later, with traffic in front of the net, Zbynek Michalek fired a hard slap shot from 60 feet out, that found it's way through to the back of the net.
After two periods, the Penguins were within one but the Jets still led on the shot clock 22-21.
Jets defenseman Ron Haisey left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and would not be returning for the third period. The Jets would have to play the remainder of the game with five d-men.
Pavelec continued his strong play into the third making a great save on Steve Sullivan just under the five minute mark keeping the Jets on top by one.
Mark Stuart also took one for the team as he took a puck square to the forehead in front of Pavelec off a Paul Martin shot. Stuart was immediately off the ice and went right to the dressing room but would return to the bench shortly after.
Tempers began to flare as the minutes counted down in regulation. It all started with a Chris Kunitz throwing a punch to Tanner Glass' face behind the play. The play resulted in Jim Slater and Ben Lovejoy dropping the gloves and heading to their dressing rooms for the night.
With the extra man in the box for the Jets, it sure didn't show as the emotion in the building pum[ed the team up even more. Burmistrov found himself on a shorthanded breakaway with a minute to play but couldn't finish the deal. The Jets would however let time wind down on the clock and march their way to am exciting and much earned victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.