The Jets were off to a great start scoring twice in the opening period from Andrew Ladd and Tanner Glass. The second period kicked off even better than the first with back-to-back power play goals from Ladd and Byfuglien in the first three minutes.
They held a 4-0 lead for 51 minutes of the game before the Lightning found the score board three times but it wouldn't be enough as the Jets defeated Tampa Bay by a 4-3 score to move into first place in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.
Steven Stamkos was responsible for one goal and a pair of helpers for the Lightning. Teddy Purcell and Martin St.Louis had the other two goals.
The Jets will have another quick turnaround as the St.Louis Blues are in town for a 1:00pm game on Saturday afternoon.
A few quality chances by both teams in the early goings of the game. Pavelec was tested on the very first shot but pulled off yet another excellent save to keep the game scoreless.
Captain Andrew Ladd opened the scoring for the Jets at 7:11 of the first period. The play began with Blake Wheeler battling along the boards trying to steal a loose puck. He dug the puck out from behind the net and handed it off to Bryan Little. Little saw Ladd waiting in the slot and served him a nice pass on a platter. Ladd blasted right on target and made it 1-0.
Later, with five minutes to play in the period, the G-S-T line went to work in front of the net. Tanner Glass was parked right in front of Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon, he threw a lofty shot from outside the crease that was poked aside. Thorburn, also down low, found the loose puck and got it to the front of the net, back to Glass who banged away at it and got it across the line on his second attempt. Mark Flood picked up the second assist on the play. Solid second effort play by that line to make it 2-0.
After twenty minutes, the Jets led 2-0 and 15-9 in shots.
The Jets went on their first power play of the night 14 seconds into the second period as Victor Hedman was dealt a delay of game penalty. The power play unit was rewarded for the sixth time in a row with Evander Kane tallying the Jets third goal of the game.
With Ladd setting a perfect screen, Kane blasted a slap shot from the top of the circle that flew past Garon into the net.
The Jets went right back to the man advantge less than a minute later and were able to convert another power play marker. This time it was Dustin Byfuglien who fired a slap shot from the point. With Ladd back in his screen spot down low, Garon didn't even see the bullet headed his way. Two quick goals early in the second resulted in Dwayne Roloson replacing Garon. 4-0 Jets.
The second period would come to an end with the Jets up by four and up 26-15 on the shot clock.
The Jets ran into a little bit of penalty trouble themselves as Wheeler and Stapleton were each handed minor penalties within the first three minutes of the third period. The penalty-kill was however able to fend off the dangerous Steven Stamkos and veteran Martin St.Louis to keep the Lightning off the scoreboard. Pavelec continued to maintain his stellar play into the third kicking out everything he saw through the first 50 minutes of play.
The Lightning finally broke the shutout with nine minutes left in regulation. Who else but the NHL's leading scorer Stamkos to net his 43rd of the season. With Kane in the penalty box, Teddy Purcell sent a perfect cross-crease pass onto the tape of Stamkos on the right wing. Stamkos didn't waste any time before firing it into the back of the net to get his team on the board.
Lightning struck again with under a minute to play as Purcell narrowed the gap 4-2. With Roloson on the bench for the extra attacker, Stamkos set up Purcell down low to sneak in their second goal of the night.
The visitors inched a little closer with nine seconds left on the clock as Glass went to the box with 17 seconds to play. This time St.Louis tallied on Pavelec from Purcell and Stamkos again.
Time finally did run out on the Lightning come back and the Jets held on for a 4-3 victory to take the two points.
1 - 0 WPG
2 - 0 WPG