The Winnipeg Jets wrapped up their inaugural season in fashion tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning despite falling to a 4-3 decision in overtime.
Teddy Purcell scored late in the first period and early in the second period to go up 2-0 on the Jets, but Nik Antropov got on the board narrowing the gap to 2-1 midway through the second.
Steven Stamkos net his 60th of the season 3:29 into the final period after Martin St. Louis dished him a nifty pass in the slot. His 60th earned him a nice standing ovation from the Winnipeg crowd.
"Good move by him. He's a great player. It's pretty amazing to get 60 goals in this league and I'm sure I'll get to see the highlights because they'll show it a few times." smiled a humble Ondrej Pavelec.
Jim Slater answered back just 1:30 after Stamkos' goal picking up his 12th of the season and again, getting the Jets back within one.
The Jets never gave up, neither did the crowd. Down by one late in the game, Slater tied the game with 53 seconds left in regulation sending the entire building into a frenzy and forcing overtime.
"I didn't want to get off the ice, I was having so much fun, it was great to be a part of tonight." said Slater.
Unfortunately, the Lightning finished things off in overtime as Purcell net his third of the game to take the victory at the MTS Centre. The entire team skated out to centre ice to show their gratitude to the fans and gave them their final salute of the season.
The electric crowd at the MTS Centre quickly opened a "Thank You True North" chant to get things underway in the final game of the season followed by a "Go Jets Go" chant to set the tone for the night.
Mark Stuart took the game's first penalty of the night for tripping at 7:41 putting the Lightning on their first power play. The Bolts came up with one good scoring chance with Vincent Lecavalier at the back door but Mark Flood cleared the puck from the crease and kept the game scoreless.
Teddy Purcell opened the scoring for the Lightning at 17:29 of the first period. Lecavalier won a face-off to the right of Pavelec that spit out right onto Purcell's stick at the top of the circle. He quickly snapped a shot that beat Pavelec top shelf stick-side. 1-0 Lightning.
8-3 Bolts were the shots after twenty minutes.
Purcell picked up his second of the night just 1:12 into the second period as Lecavalier fired a nice cross-ice pass through the Jets zone to Purcell inside the left circle. Purcell snapped a shot from 13 feet out that beat Pevelec and made it 2-0 Bolts.
The Jets got their first power play opportunity of the night with Eric Brewer taking a tripping penalty 6:46 into the middle frame.
Nik Antropov closed the gap just after the power play expired as Antti Miettinen dished the puck out from behind the net and sent a nice feed to Antropov in the slot to finish the play. 2-1 Lightning. Evander Kane picked up the second assist on the play.
After two periods, the shots were 18-14 in favour of the home team.
Stamkos tallied his 60th of the season at the 3:29 mark of the final period on the final game of the season. Martin St. Louis sent him a perfect set up from the corner as he was coming across the slot. He wound up and made no mistake sending a hard wrist shot into the back of the net.
Jim Slater answered right back picking up his 12th of the season picking up feed from Grant Clitsome coming off the bench. He charged across the blue line into the Bolts zone, deked and put the puck over Roloson's shoulder to get back within one.
With 1:30 remaining on the Jets season, the entire building began a loud 'Go Jets Go' chant to show their team their support and appreciation.
Their support paid off as Slater tied the game with 53 seconds remaining in the third period. Blake Wheeler dished a perfect pass from behind the net onto the tape of Slater just outside the crease who picked his corner and hit his target bringing the entire crowd into a frenzy.
3-3 after 60 minutes.
Teddy Purcell ended it in overtime picking up a hat-trick on the night and the Lightning take the 4-3 OT win.