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It wasn’t quite at the same level of thievery as it was the previous night in San Jose, but the Winnipeg Jets once again managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as they overcame a two goal deficit in the third period and beat the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime by a 4-3 score.

First Period

In what felt like a continuation of what happened the night before in San Jose, the Knights jumped all over the Jets early in the game with a couple of really good scoring chances. The Jets though were the ones to draw first blood as again – much like the game against the Sharks – the Jets take advantage of a brutal turnover committed by the other team.

But the 1-0 Jets lead only lasted a couple of minutes as the Knights continued to blitz the Winnipeg end of the ice and picked up three goals in the span of about four minutes of play starting with a Vegas power play goal and then continuing with two bad mistakes and lapses of Jets defense along with some bad goaltending.

Not sure what Josh Morrissey was doing on that third goal as he passed the puck out to the middle of nowhere and nobody…

To their credit, after that third goal, the Jets got a bit better in their own end and the rest of the first period played out pretty even with the Knights holding just a 10-9 edge in shots and high danger scoring chances in the period for all situations were a narrow 4-3 lead for Vegas as well.

Second Period

The second period was a good example of what I had talked about a few days ago with shots not always being a true indication of how well a team is doing if those shots come from distance. The Jets out-shot the Knights 10-8 in the middle frame, but Knights hold the edge in high danger scoring chances 5-2. How could this be? The Jets defense continues to play far too loose and gives up way too much in the middle of the ice, while the offense struggles to get to that same area in the Vegas end of the ice.

Vegas had six chances in close around the Jets net while the Jets who have more shots (if not more shot attempts) are again shooting from distance with only a couple of chances that qualify as high danger.

There is no scoring in the period, but there are plenty of fireworks.

It started with this Adam Lowry hit on Alex Tuch.

With the suspension and hit on Oliver Kylington fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s easy to see where some might felt this was a dirty hit by Lowry, but my feeling it’s a tough, clean hit that Tuch tries to brace for in an awkward way. Lowry doesn’t leave with his feet, while the hit his high, he isn’t purposefully targeting the head. COntrast this hit to one Ryan Reaves had on Tucker Poolman earlier in the period that knocked Poolman out of the game.

After the Lowry hit on Tuch, Golden Knights head coach puts Reaves – who isn’t a center – to take the faceoff against Lowry – who is – in a blatantly obvious manner to instigate a fight. Lowry to his credit knows what is coming and is willing to take the big knucklehead on and actually does pretty well for himself.

Ya know what, if Reaves was the so-called “heavyweight champ” going into this fight, then the even number of punches landed along with the Lowry take-down means we have a new champ.

All hail Adam Lowry. The NHL’s reigning, defending, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

(But no, hockey fights like this are stupid and Gerard Gallant should be fined and suspended)

Third Period

All night long the Jets had a pretty bad power play and were 0 for 4 with Paul Maurice stubbornly sticking with the top unit that wasn’t getting the job done at all while Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine sat on the bench, but on the fifth try, the Jets finally got somewhere with the man advantage as Mathew Perreault scored his second goal of the night.

The Jets were actually the better team in the third period – not by much granted, but they were skating far better and were actually getting to the slot area a lot more for better scoring chances. As time winded down it still felt like the Jets needed a break to even things up and they got one.

A minute after the Jets got the benefit of the doubt on a close icing call that could have been easily waved off, the Knights weren’t as fortunate – possibly because Kyle Connor took a much better angle to the puck than any Vegas player which caused the officials to wave off the icing – and with a quick heads up play allaround, the Jets were able to stun Vegas and goalie Malcom Subban and make the game 3-3.

Overtime

The Jets controlled the puck for most of the OT period and were pretty selective in their scoring chances. Right after Vegas finally managed to get their first good rush of the extra period three minutes in, the Jets came right back with a rush of their own led by Patrik Laine who had enough speed to back off the Vegas defense and give Kyle Connor more than enough room to deke Subban silly and earn a full two points.

TL;DR Why The Jets Won

Persistence seemed to pay off a bit for Winnipeg and it didn’t hurt that Vegas has really had major issues clamping down third period leads as of late (and going back to the playoffs if we’re being honest). It was an ugly start but credit to the Jets for settling down, playing a little bit more responsible defensively and then taking advantage of a few key breaks.

JetsNation’s Top Gun

Perreault is a pretty safe choice given the two goals he scored. Kyle Connor was also strong and I really liked Patrik Laine’s game It’s also worth giving a nod to Laurent Brossoit as well after a rather bad first half of the first period, he was pretty good

The Boxscore

Next Flight

As you read this, the Jets are now back home and will start to prepare for a four game home stand starting with the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. The game is on TSN 3 and TSN 1290 with puck drop at Bell MTS Place set for 7 PM.


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