The Jets were looking to keep their winning ways alive back home tonight against the New Jersey Devils and they managed to do just that. Two goals and an assist by the captain, Andrew Ladd helped drive the Jets to a 3-1 victory tonight. Blake Wheeler picked up the third goal netting an empty netter to seal the deal.
Ondrej Pavelec had another strong game in net for the Jets making 22 saves to pick up the win and the second star of the night. On the other end, Johan Hedberg made 18 saves. Andrei Loktionov was the lone goal scorer for New Jersey in the loss.
The Jets will take tomorrow to practice before they are right back at it to take on the Washington Capitals in a big division tilt Saturday afternoon. That game goes at 2 pm on CBC.
It took just eight seconds for the Jets to make a loud statement in this game as captain Andrew Ladd put his team on the board off the opening face-off. Bryan Little won the draw and quickly dished the puck over to Ladd who turned and charged hard on Hedberg. He moved to the puck to his backhand and sliced the puck into the back of the net. 1-0 early. Ladd's 11th of the season marked the seventh consecutive game (11th of the season) that the Jets have opened the scoring.
Alex Burmistrov took the game's first penalty for interference at 9:37 of the period. Bobby Butler nearly made them pay as he snapped a hard shot right on Pavelec right in front but Pavs shut the door and shot it right back at him.
Kane took a late penalty with just four seconds remaining in the period but the Jets head to the dressing room still up by one. Shots through twenty minutes were 8-5 Jets.
The Devils tied things up at 3:05 of the second period after former Jet Alexei Ponikarovsky found Andrei Loktionov streaking up ice along the boards into the Jets zone. Loktionov, with speed, made a nice move to beat his check to the outside and snapped a shot that went through Pavelec into the net. 1-1.
Things slowed down through the middle part of the second period but the Jets turned on the pressure with about 5:30 to play. A couple of turnovers in the neutral zone resulted in a few good Jets chances but they just couldn't put one past Hedberg.
With under five to play, the Jets were handed a glorious power play opportunity after Bryce Salvador went to the box for hooking followed by Stephen Gionta for delay-of-game. The Jets had some glorious chances with a couple of Devils had broken sticks...still, somehow the puck stayed out of the net and the game remained tied.
Through two periods, shots read 13-13. The Jets held the edge in the face-off circle 52-48% and were dominating in hits 17-6.
Not much to note through the first nine minutes of the final frame but the Jets best chance of the period came just over the 10 minute mark after Adam Larsson snapped his stick on a point shot that turned into an odd-man rush for Ladd, Wheeler and Little. Ladd sent a nice pass to Little beside him who had time. He blasted a shot that hit Hedberg's crest and stayed out.
Then, at 8:01 of the period, Ladd broke the tie to giving the Jets a 2-1 lead. It was four-on-four with Nik Antropov and Steve Bernier both in the penalty box. The play started with Grant Clitsome handing the puck to d-partner Byfuglien who found some wheels and went hard at the net. He raced around the net attempting a wrap-around, the puck stopped at the post but Ladd was there to shovel home the rebound.
With a minute left in regulation, the Devils pulled their goalie and the Jets took advantage to add some insurance to their lead. Ladd found Wheeler at the blueline of the Devils zone, he danced around his defender and put it into the open net to make it a 3-1 final.