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Beyak: Wheeler's big night helps Jets take down Sharks

Dennis Beyak
3/28/2014 11:15:38 AM
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Winnipeg Jets 4 San Jose Sharks 3 (Jets 33-32-9, 16-17-3 road) – The win was the second for the Jets against San Jose this season, and evened the Jets record to 1-1 on the five game road trip. The game started a stretch of four games in six nights for the Jets. The Jets did not gain any ground on Phoenix, as the Coyotes beat New Jersey in a shootout to pick up five-of-six points on their three game road trip. It was the Jets 42nd one-goal game of the year; they have won 19 of them.

Jets were again minus Ondrej Pavelec and Zach Bogosian due to injury, while Devin Setoguchi was not in the lineup – coach's decision. Pavelec practiced with the team Wednesday, Bogosian did not.  Mark Stuart was shaken up late in the San Jose game and only returned for one shift. Jets are in LA Saturday. (TSN 1290)

Dan Boyle opened the scoring 1:57 in, only to have Andrew Ladd tie the game 36 seconds later with his 22nd of the year. Micheal Frolik and Bryan Little drew assists, Little extending his point streak to four. For Ladd it was his fifth goal in the last seven games and eighth in the last 12 games. Brent Burns on a power play at 14:27 sent the Sharks to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead. Shots were 11-10 San Jose.

Blake Wheeler with his 25th of the year at 1:55 of the second tied the game. The goal was unassisted.  Wheeler then set up Dustin Byfuglien for his 20th of the year to give the Jets their first lead. It was Byfuglien's eighth power play goal of the year. He has now tied his career high for goals, points and power play goals. Byfuglien has 24 points on the Jets 37 power play goals. It was his seventh goal in the last nine games. Frolik picked up his second point of the game with an assist on the goal. Shots in the second were 10-9 San Jose with the Jets up 3-2.

For the second straight game the Jets surrendered two power play goals against, as Logan Couture pulled the Sharks even at 11:23. The Sharks then got themselves in penalty trouble as while killing a penalty, Couture put a clearing attempt over the glass and for 10 seconds the Jets had a 5-on-3. The Sharks killed that off but with a one-man advantage Wheeler set up Toby Enstrom for the game winner at 16:24. Little also drew an assist, giving him 10 points in the last 10 games, and 25 points in his last 28 games. The three point night gives Wheeler 11 points in the last seven games and 31 points in the last 30 games. He has 62 points on the season, two shy of his career high. It was his third three point game of the season. Enstrom's goal was his ninth of the year, one shy of his career high. Enstrom is now 2-7-9 in his last 7 games. It was his third power play goal of the year and only the Jets 12th power play road goal of the year with three so far on this road trip. Shots in the third were 12-9 Jets and 31-30 Jets on the game, as Al Montoya in his sixth straight start, picked up his 13th win of the season.

Jacob Trouba again led the team in ice time, as he played 24:53. Andrew Ladd had seven shots on goal, one shy of his single-game career high. Trouba had six shots on goal. Jim Slater was 75% in the face off department, winning six-of-eight.

Paul Maurice was very impressed with his top players, especially Wheeler.

“He just keeps getting stronger and more powerful. He does so much for our team.”

On Ladd's goal that tied the game early in the first: “it was big, settled our bench down.”

On the win: “It's the first time we've talked about the playoff race. It's a huge hill to climb, but we can't look at that as the reason we played hard. We have to play hard for faith and confidence in the room.”

The Bloggers: TSN Radio 1290 broadcasters Dennis Beyak and Brian Munz cover the Winnipeg Jets all season long. Manitoba-native Beyak is the play-by-play announcer for Jets regional games on TSN Jets and on TSN Radio 1290. Munz serves as a commentator for Jets broadcasts on TSN Radio 1290. Munz had previously been the voice of the Manitoba Moose.

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