The Jets needed a big bounce-back game after falling 4-1 to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Tonight, against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a place that hasn't been the friendliest in the past, was welcoming tonight, as the Jets dropped the Lightning 2-1.
"I thought right from the onset we were in the game and we played hard," said head coach Claude Noel. "I thought we got some really good efforts from a lot of people.
"For us the turning point of the game was the 5-on-3, for a full two minutes. It's really hard to see if you can get out of that. It was a key kill, guys made big sacrifices, didn't give them many shots or good looks so it was good."
Steven Stamkos tied things up 6:57 into the third period but Bryan Little tallied the go-ahead game-winner with just over four minutes left in regulation.
With Ondrej Pavelec getting the night off, Al Montoya picked up his third win this season and undefeated in all three feats. Montoya stopped 28 shots on net for the victory while Anders Lindback turned away 26 in the loss.
"Montoya was good," said Noel. "He made one or two key saves, one to his right pad. He looked comfortable and that he could really see the puck, he was good all night for me."
The Jets will jump back on a flight back to Florida for a rematch against the Panthers tomorrow night. Game time goes at 6:30 pm on TSN Jets.
Eric Tangradi opened the scoring picking up his first as a Jet after Kyle Wellwood made a great play to move the puck along the boards and find Tangradi inside the circle. Tangradi snapped a wrist shot that beat Anders Lindback high short side. 1-0 Jets.
Evander Kane took the game's first penalty of the night for high-sticking with 8:15 to play in the first period but the Jets penalty-killing unit with a little help from Al Montoya, were able to kill off the first shorthanded situation.
Through 20 minutes, the Jets led 1-0 and held a 13-12 edge in shots.
Mark Stuart and BJ Crombeen drop the gloves just 19 seconds into the middle frame in a lengthy battle in attempt to ignite their respective benches.
The Jets found themselves down two men for a full two minutes as Paul Postma and Mark Stuart went off at the same time. The Jets killed off the first minute and Montoya made a huge save on Vincent Lacavalier as he blasted a shot from inside the circle. Just after that, Montoya's helmet bumped off, forcing a whistle and allowing the three killers to change up. The long penalty kill finally came to an end and the Jets shut the door and held onto their lead.
Bryan Little draws a penalty as he was tripped up by Victor Hedman racing across the blueline into the Lightning zone. 50 seconds later, Eric Brewer went off for hooking, putting the Jets on a 5-on-3 for 1:10. Andrew Ladd had the best chance of the power play as he rang one off the post at the corner.
Through 40 minutes, the Jets still held a 1-0 lead and also led 20-18 in shots.
The Jets didn't have the best start to the final period as they took a too many men penalty just 55 seconds in. With what could have been a costly mistake, the Jets found a way to kill of another penalty and cling to the one goal lead.
Steven Stamkos tied things up after a nice pass by Martin St.Louis down behind the net. He connected with Stamkos in the slot who made no mistake to put it past Montoya for his 18th of the season.
Bryan Little found the back of the net for his fourth of the season to regain the lead for the Jets at 15:52 of the third. Ladd dished the puck to Little along the boards who did a great job of moving around St.Louis creating a path for himself. He moved the puck around to the post and was able to sneak it through the five-hole of Lindback.
Time ran out on the Lightning and thanks to Little's go-ahead goal, the Jets held on for a 2-1 over the Bolts. Shots after 60 minutes were 29-28 Lightning.
The Jets will flip back to Florida for a rematch against the Panthers tomorrow night in Sunrise.