Ten goals were scored in the first two periods of play in Pittsburgh tonight and the Jets did not end up on the winning side as they fell 8-4 at the hands of the Penguins.
It was a catch-up game for most of the night as the Jets stayed in it for the first half of the game but couldn't keep up with the depth of the Penguins.
Bryan Little scored a pair and Jim Slater and Tim Stapleton each added one but that wasn't enough as James Neal tallied a hat-trick and Evgeni Malkin put up five points including his 200th NHL career goal in the win. Sidney Crosby picked up four assists and was a +3 in his first home game back.
The Jets will have the next two days off before they have another tough one against the Washington Capitals Friday night.
Tyler Kennedy opened the scoring for the Penguins at 2:04 of the first period. Sidney Crosby sent a nice pass to Kennedy in the slot and he snapped a quick shot that beat Pavelec. 1-0 Penguins.
Jim Slater answered right back putting the Jets on the board just over a minute and a half later. Tanner Glass carried the puck over the blueline into the Pens zone with Slater at centre. He sent the puck toward the net and Slater was there in front to tip it past Thiessen to even the score. Spencer Machacek picked up the second assist on the play.
Dustin Byfuglien took the game's first penalty at 9:36 as he was called for high-sticking on Crosby. The Jets did a good job of blocking out the Penguins dangerous power play and the game remained tied after the kill.
The Jets saw their first power play as Malkin would sit for four minutes for highsticking at 11:32. Bryan Little made the Pens pay as he put the Jets up by one. Andrew Ladd won a board battle behind the net and he was able to find Little in the slot. Little waited for the right moment before he blasted a wrist shot past Thiessen. 2-1 Jets.
The Pens evened things up again on the power play as James Neal put one past Pavelec back-door, after Malkin sent him a nice pass. Crosby picked up his second assist of the night on the goal.
After twenty minutes, the Jets and Pens were tied 2-2. The Pens led 13-12 in shots. Evander Kane took five of the 12 Jets shots.
Neal picked up his second of the night just 1:!5 into the second period after a scramble down low ended up in the back of the net. Malkin took a shot down low and dished the rebound off to Neal who snapped a quick shot beating Pavelec who had been knocked down. No goalie interference was called on the play. 3-2 Penguins.
Again the Jets answered back to tie things up a couple minutes later. Andrew Ladd and Bryan Little completed a nice give-and-go on a two-on-one breaking across the blueline. Little's gets his second of the night and 21st of the season, from Ladd and Tobias Enstrom.
The Pens struck again to go ahead 4-3 as Kennedy net his second of the game after Crosby sent him a nice set-up pass from behind the net. Kennedy one-timed the pass past Pavelec to take the lead.
Malkin added to the Penguins lead on a delayed Jets penalty as he fired one past Pavelec stick-side at 11:31. His 42nd of the season and 200th NHL career goal was set up by Crosby and Paul Martin.
The Jets weren't about to go away that quickly as Tim Stapleton narrowed the gap on a grinding goal in the crease. Machacek sent the puck around the back of the net to find Ben Maxwell. Maxwell tried to slip the puck around the post but instead connected with Stapleton in front to finish the play. 5-4 Pens.
Neal then completed the hat-trick as he wired a hard snap shot from inside the right circle. Malkin and Brooks Orpik with the assists.
After two periods, the Pens were on top 6-4 and led 28-22 in shots.
Malkin picked up his second goal and fifth point of the night as he threw a harmless shot at the net that Mason lost sight of at the last second and it trickled through his legs and across the goal line. 7-4 Jets.
Pascal Dupuis added an eigth goal for the Pens at 13:27 as Jordan Staal set him up with a juicy one-timer at the top of the circle. His 21st of the season had the Pens doubled up on the Jets late in the third period, 8-4.
That's all the damage that would be done for the night as the Penguins took the game by a final score of 8-4 in their home barn. The Jets will have a couple days off before they will face the Washington Capitals Friday night.