Jets 4, Devils 2
NEWARK, N.J. -- The Winnipeg Jets are making the most of their five-game road trip.
Evander Kane scored on a breakaway in the second period and Andrew Ladd added an insurance goal in the third as the Jets earned a 4-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils Sunday evening.
The win enabled the Jets to improve to 8-9-1 overall, while the Devils (10-5-4) lost for the fourth time in five games and lost for only the second time at home this season. The Jets, who had lost five straight games in New Jersey, dating back to 2009, have now won three games in a five-game road trip.
Kane and Ladd, the Jets' two top scorers, took over the game after trailing the Devils 2-1 in the second period. Kane scored his seventh goal of the season after making a steal in his own end and Ladd capitalized on a play deep in the Devils' zone to score his 10th goal of the season.
The Jets had goals from unexpected sources along their back line. Defenseman Zach Bogosian scored his first goal of the season in the first period and fellow defenseman Grant Clitsome scored his second goal on a power-play in the second period.
The Devils once held a 2-1 lead after goals from Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier in the second period.
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 26 shots in goal for the Jets, while Johan Hedberg, a late-minute replacement for Martin Brodeur, made 24 saves for New Jersey.
Brodeur left the ice in pre-game warm-ups with what the team called "a little soreness" and didn't make his scheduled start.
The Jets, in the midst of a five-game road trip where they defeated Buffalo and Carolina, were clearly the more physical and energy-filled squad in the early going.
Eventually, the Jets did exactly with what they have done for the prior five games -- they scored first.
Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian scored his first goal of the season off a smart play from Blake Wheeler just 2:30 into the game.
Wheeler carried the puck into the zone, got the attention of two Devils defensemen, quickly stopped and found Bogosian, who fired it past Hedberg for a 1-0 Winnipeg lead.
The Devils tied the game at the 9:52 mark, when Patrik Elias did the hard work off a steal. He started a 2-on-1 play to Zajac, who fired it past Pavelec, making the score 1-1.
New Jersey then gained a 2-1 lead in the closing minutes of the first period. Loktionov fired a shot that Pavelec first stopped, but Bernier was alertly there for the rebound with 2:43 left in the period. Bernier's fifth goal of the season gave the Devils the lead at the first break.
Winnipeg then tied the game midway through the second period, capitalizing on the Devils' recent penalty killing woes.
Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov was called for a questionable interference call and the Jets took advantage. Clintsome skated alone on the right wing and fired a shot that Hedberg seemed to get his glove on, but still went into the goal, tying the game at 2-2 at 13:01 of the second period.
The Jets then took a 3-2 lead in the closing minutes of the period. The Devils were on an attack, but second-year defenseman Adam Larsson gave the puck away to Kane, who skated in through two New Jersey defenders and when Hedberg came way out of the goal to try to swat it away from Kane, the speedy winger lifted a back-hander past Hedberg for the go-ahead score.
Ladd then put the finishing touches on the win with a goal that was set up by a steal along the boards by Blake Wheeler, who dug the puck away from two Devil defenders and fired a wrist shot past Hedberg and a 4-2 lead.
NOTES: Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur left the ice during pre-game warm-ups and did not start the game as expected. The NHL's all-time leader in games played and wins (664) was replaced in goal by Johan Hedberg. ... Before the game, the Devils placed LW Ryan Carter on the injured list and recalled C Jacob Josefson from Albany of then AHL. Carter had been out of action for a week with what the club called an "upper body injury," but he was checked for symptoms of a concussion. Carter was sandwiched in a hard hit by two Ottawa players and hit his head against the boards. ... The Devils also scratched rookie LW Stefan Matteau. Coach Peter DeBoer said that the rookie is "a little banged up." ... The Jets scratched D Tobias Enstrom, the leading scorer among Winnipeg defensemen with two goals and 11 assists. ... The Jets are in the middle of a five-game road streak. They won the first two games of the trip against Buffalo and Carolina.
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