Beyak: Jets gain ground on Capitals with comeback SO victory

Dennis Beyak

2/10/2012 2:53:24 AM

Quite the game in Washington, and when the dust settled the Jets gained a point on the front runners in the Southeast Division.

It was a 3-2 shootout win that had a number of twists and turns.

Ondre Pavelec was terrific as the Jets were outshot 12-4 in the first period. The games first penalty was on Zach Bogosian at 12:28 of the second, and after killing it off the Jets started to turn some of the statistics in their favour.

They won 12 of 19 face-offs in the second period after winning only four of 15 in the first. They also got some quality shots on Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun.

The game stayed scoreless into the third when Alex Ovechkin on a power-play put the Caps in front 1-0, and that was followed by an Alexander Semin power play goal and a 2-0 Capitals lead.

Now at that point, one would not blame the Jets for thinking the hill was too steep for a comeback.

They had not scored a power-play goal, a third period goal or two road goals in regulation in the last seven games.

But eventually the Caps would get into penalty trouble.

With just over four minutes to go, the Jets went on the power play.

Coach Claude Noel made the gutsy move,  pulling Pavelec to make it a six on four.

A Dustin Byfuyglien shot was blocked by the shaft of the stick of Brooks Laich, and he tried to clear the puck not realizing his stick had broken causing another penalty.

So it became a six on three.

Evander Kane jammed home a rebound for his 19th of the year, tying a career high for goals in a season, and the Jets had life.

Still on a power play, they scored a weird one.

Byfuglien from centre ice, elected to drill a shot on net instead of sending it around the boards. The puck went off a stick, one bounce and into the net it went, Tie game. 

A goal and an assist for Byfuglien, who earlier in the period was shaken up after a collision with Semin.

Jets also lost Bogosian late in the period after he blocked a shot that caught him just above the skates and below the shin pads. His status for the Saturday afternoon game in Pittsburgh is unknown. (TSN 1290)

In overtime there was a late power play for the Caps, But a face-off win by Tanner Glass, and great board work by Glass, Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart sent the game to a shootout.

Ovechkin lead it off with a goal, which was answered by Blake Wheeler.

Semin was stopped, and Bryan Little scored and rightfully so, Pavelec who was so good all night, had a chance to win the game with a save off of Mathieu Perreault.

Comeback accomplished.

Little has now scored the winner in three of the last four Jets wins. Shootout in Philadelphia, winner in the second against Toronto, and the winner in the shootout against Washington.

Kyle Wellwood in Tampa has the other.

Wellwood was out the line-up for the second straight game with the flu.

Byfuglien lead all Jets in shots on goal with five, Blake Wheeler had four.

Wheeler should have been awarded a penalty shot (vs the two minute minor that was called) early in the third when hooked on a breakaway.

Some post game comments from Jets head coach Coach Noel: 

"Our power play came to life with the six on three. Then a fortunate one, a good result in the shootout, Pavelec was good, and we battled back to win. I liked the second half of our game. We haven't had a lot of luck lately"

On Kane's game: "I liked him. He played a lot better, he was composed, he was involved."