Jets keep rolling in win over slumping Devils

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Updated: March 1, 2013

Andrew Ladd netted a pair of goals, including
the go-ahead marker with 8:01 left to play, as the surging Winnipeg Jets came
through with a 3-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils at MTS Centre.

Ladd also assisted on Blake Wheeler’s empty-net clincher with 35.8 seconds
left, and tied a franchise record by scoring eight seconds after the opening
faceoff to help Winnipeg stay hot in its return home following a 4-1-0 road
trip that included a 4-2 triumph over the Devils on Sunday.

“I was happy that we got the win and it was certainly a hard game to get the
win,” said Winnipeg head coach Claude Noel. “We had some guys working really
hard out there tonight and I thought we managed things really well.”

Ondrej Pavelec did his part as well, with the Jets goaltender turning back 22-
of-23 shots in a sharp performance between the pipes.

While the Jets remained on a roll, the Devils continued to slump after
suffering their third straight defeat and falling to 1-4-1 over their last six
outings.

Andrei Loktionov accounted for the lone New Jersey goal, with Johan Hedberg
stopping 18-of-20 chances in the setback.

“We’re a team that always comes back hard and we’ll come back from this,” said
Hedberg.

Dual penalties by Winnipeg’s Nik Antropov and the Devils’ Steve Bernier, ruled
to have taken a dive on a cross-check by the Jets forward, with 8:21 remaining
created a 4-on-4 situation in which Winnipeg benefited from the more open
space.

Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien rushed all the way up ice from behind his own
net before attempting a wraparound shot that New Jersey’s Marek Zidlicky got a
stick on. A trailing Ladd, however, was there to tap in the loose puck past
Hedberg and break the 1-1 deadlock.

Pavelec and his protectors were able to prevent the Devils from generating any
serious scoring chances the rest of the way, and the game was over once
Wheeler collected a puck Ladd fired off the left boards and eluded a defender
before sending it into the vacated net with time winding down.

Winnipeg started strong in addition to finishing well. After Brian Little won
the game’s opening faceoff, Ladd outraced Zidlicky to chase down a puck dumped
by Zach Bogosian and got in alone on Hedberg before putting home the fastest
goal the Devils have ever surrendered in their existence.

While the Jets controlled the action in the first period, New Jersey was the
stronger team in the second and recorded the only goal of the frame courtesy
of Loktionov, who picked up a head of steam up the right side before snapped a
shot through Pavelec’s legs 3:05 into the session.

Game Notes

Ronald Petrovicky set the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers’ franchise record for the
fastest goal at Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, 2003, with Kyle Wellwood matching that
mark against the Penguins on Oct. 17, 2011 … The Jets have now scored the
first goal in seven consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the NHL
this season. Washington did it in eight straight from Feb. 7-26 … Pavelec
became the Jets/Thrashers’ all-time leader in games played by a goalie with
his 205th appearance, breaking a tie he had shared with Kari Lehtonen …
Devils center Travis Zajac, a Winnipeg native, competed for the first time as
an NHL player in his home city. He had missed New Jersey’s two visits to the
MTS Centre last season due to injury … Loktionov has two goals and a pair of
assists during a four-game point streak … Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder
appeared in his 600th NHL game.