It seemed that all four lines were clicking for the Winnipeg Jets tonight. They showed passion and the urgency to win. The Jets were so close to a clean win they could smell it but with just 1o seconds to play in regulation, the Flyers spoiled the fun and tied the game forcing overtime. They kept their momentum rolling and took a 5-4 victory in overtime.
Three power play markers for the home team starting with Byfuglien opening the scoring at 12:31 of the first period. Captain Andrew Ladd tallied two goals just over a minute apart in the second period and Evander Kane found the net in the third. Tim Stapleton picked up his first NHL career three-point night as he assisted on each of the three power play goals tonight.
"I think for myself, it was one of those nights where I tried to just move the puck and things were going in," said Stapleton. "We're making little plays around the net which I think is something we haven't been doing. We've been shooting a lot but it's getting to those rebounds and making the little plays and I think that was our success tonight."
Ondrej Pavelec was phenomenal between the pipes for his group stopping 50 shots on net to earn the first star of the night.
"Pavelec was by far the best player on the ice," said coach Claude Noel. "We might have not even got a point if it wasn't for him. He was unbelievable. Say what you want but you can win championships with goalies like that- with goaltending like that. I was very impressed with him."
Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Maxime Talbot and Wayne Simmonds were the Flyers goal scorers through three periods and Jaromir Jagr finished things off with the game winner in overtime.
The Jets don't have much time to waste before they play again on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The first penalty of the night was dished to Alexander Burmistrov for high sticking putting the Flyers on the first power play however, the Jets did a good job of shutting the door and keeping the game scoreless. Just past the midway mark of the period, the Flyers led 12-6 in shots.
The Jets got their first power play with just under eight minutes to play in the opening frame with Maxime Talbot in the box for cross-checking. It only took 27 seconds before Dustin Byfuglien was able to convert on the advantage as he blasted one past Bryzgalov on a nice one-timer feed from Tim Stapleton at the point. 1-0 Jets.
The Flyers evened the score at 15:50 as Scott Hartnell slid a nice pass through the crease onto the tape of Claude Giroux to put the puck into the open net.
After 20 minutes, the Flyers and Jets were tied 1-1, and the Flyers led 15-10 in shots.
The Flyers took the lead just 1:08 into the second period on the power play with Tobias Enstrom in the box for interference. Hartnell tapped home his 28th of the season from Wayne Simmonds and Kimmo Timonen giving the visitors the momentum early.
The Jets stole back the momentum and tied things up on the power play at 7:52. Blake Wheeler chased the puck behind the net and found Andrew Ladd down low by the right post to snap the puck past Bryzgalov. Tim Stapleton picked up the second assist on the play.
Just over a minute later, Ladd tallied another goal to put the Jets up 3-2. The play started with a Byfuglien slap shot from the point that made it's way through traffic but was kicked out. Bryan Little got a piece of the rebound and handed it off to Ladd just outside the crease at the corner. Ladd made no mistake sending the puck home on his backhand.
The Flyers tied things up at 11:14 as Talbot tapped home a rebound on Andrej Meszaro's shot from the point.
Through two periods, the score was 3-3 with the Flyers still on top 31-20 in shots.
The Flyers took an early penalty putting the Jets back on the power play and they were able to capitalize on the advantage for the third time in the game. Stapleton handed the puck to Evander Kane at the point who got himself into position, found a seam and fluttered the puck over the shoulder of Bryzgalov. 4-3 Jets.
Later, with 8:20 to play in the third, Jim Slater and Matt Read dropped the gloves igniting the crowd even more. The Jets were handed the extra two minute minor for instigating.
Just when we thought the Flyers were about to tie things up, Ondrej Pavelec made a brilliant acrobatic save on Jakub Voracek- absolutely robbing him of the tying goal.
Just when we thought the Jets had completed the season series sweep of the Flyers, Simmonds snuck in the tying goal with 10 seconds left in regulation on a last minute rush with James Van Riemsdyk and Giroux.
Things didn't go exactly as planned in overtime as the Flyers rolled their late goal momentum into the extra frame and found a way to steal the second point. Jaromir Jagr sealed the Flyers fate down low in front of Pavelec from Daniel Briere at 4:16 of overtime.