Jets defeat Devils 4-2

- February 25th, 2013

NEW YORK — Starting with an apology, I planned to type the blog after taking the train back from Newark to Manhattan, but ran into some technical difficulties upon my return.

That’s been remedied, allowing us to go through a quick breakdown of the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night at the Prudential Center.

It was another gutsy effort for the visitors, who bounced back after falling victim to some discipline issues and a penalty kill that allowed three power play goals to the Philadelphia Flyers one day earlier in a 5-3 loss.

The Jets got on the board first, as Blake Wheeler delayed in the offensive zone and made a great pass in the slot to a streaking Zach Bogosian, who had come in from the right point and blasted his low shot past Johan Hedberg, a surprise starter when Martin Brodeur came up lame during the pre-game warm-up.

It was the fifth consecutive game the Jets scored first, but they began to show some signs of fatigue (according to head coach Claude Noel) later in the period and the Devils took advantage, scoring twice to take a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes.

Winnipegger Travis Zajac accepted a nifty saucer pass from Patrik Elias on a 2-on-1 rush and whipped his shot past Ondrej Pavelec at 9:52 and Steve Bernier deposited a rebound at 17:10. A giveaway by Clitsome started the play and Dustin Byfuglien didn’t pick up Bernier at the side of the net.

Special teams were once again a factor on Sunday, but this time it was the Jets killing off both of the Devils’ power play chances, while adding a somewhat rare power play goal of their own, from D-man Grant Clitsome that tied the game at 13:01 of the second period and seemed to give the Jets a serious spark. Did we mention that goal from Clitsome snapped an 0-for-21 slump for the Jets’ PP?

The Jets got a highlight-reel goal from Evander Kane at 17:48 of the second period as he took a pass from Alex Burmistrov and picked up speed through the neutral zone, blew past a pair of Devils’ D-men (Adam Larsson and Andy Greene) and then went to his backhand to avoid Hedberg’s poke-check attempt.

It was the 7th goal of the season for Kane and extended his consecutive point streak to seven games. It was also the result of some inside knowledge as Kane noted afterward that because he had played with Hedberg on the Atlanta Thrashers, he figured the goalie would try to be aggressive and try to knock the puck off his stick.

The Jets had an excellent third period, allowing only five shots on goal while adding an insurance marker from captain Andrew Ladd, who now has a team-high 10 goals and 17 points in 18 games this season.

Really liked the game that Anthony Peluso played as he filled in for Chris Thorburn.

After a tough debut that saw him take a pair of minor penalties, Peluso showed how tough he is by cutting open Krys Barch during a spirited scrap.

The Jets scored shortly after the fight and the scouting report we’d heard on Peluso proved to be be pretty accurate, as he made some smart decisions with the puck and also skated well. As I’ve said previously, with some grooming, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see Peluso become an effective enforcer who won’t hurt the Jets in a fourth-line role.

With the win, the Jets improve to 3-1 on the road trip, are 8-9-1 overall and pull back within two points of top spot in the Southeast Division, with a date against the New York Rangers set for Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

We’re off to MSG shortly and will try to get an update on the injuries to Byfuglien and RW Antti Miettinen, who lasted only one shift and 17 seconds in his first game of the season after taking a shot from Ilya Kovalchuk to the lower extremities.

Byfuglien didn’t finish the game and finished with 21 shifts for 19 minutes and 18 seconds.

Categories: Hockey

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