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The Winnipeg Jets have had their share of crazy games this season and Saturday night may have been the craziest and through it all the Jets still found a way to win it as a late third period goal from Andrew Copp lifted Winnipeg to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

First Period

Very sleepy start for the Jets as they couldn’t seem to string together passes or even hold on to pucks for very long. The awkward start for the Jets got them behind in shots early on and on the scoreboard as the Blue Jackets took advantage of their first power play of the night with Pierre-Luc Dubois tenth goal of the season.

 

The goal seemed to wake the Jets up a little bit as they started to skate better at the very least but still struggled to complete passes and generate any kind of consistent pressure on the Jackets, but on the one really good play they had in the period they capitalized on the chance as a nice entry from Jack Roslovic and a pass to Blake Wheeler in the middle of the ice led to the Jets first goal on the night.

Shots finished at 11-10 in favor of the Jackets and they also had an edge in overall high danger scoring chances in the period 4-2. The period didn’t end without a little bit of silliness though as there was a slight delay trying to deal with a loose microphone along the glass that took a bit of effort to get back on the right side of the rink…

Second Period

Things started off well enough for the Jets as five minutes into the period they got some really good stops from Laurent Brossoit and as it seems to be in hockey, big saves at one end of the rink always open the door for big goals at the other end which happened when Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers comined for some magic.

But 20 seconds after the Jets get the 2-1 lead, they run into penalty trouble as Tucker Poolman was called for hooking when it was very clear that the Jackets Marcus Foligno was more guilty of trapping Poolman’s stick between his arm and side and acting the victim. 10 seconds after that brutal call, Luca Sbisa was called for a little bit more of a legitimate boarding penalty that put the Jets two men down.

As you would expect, the Jackets took advantage of both calls bad and good with two more power play goals.

Say what you want about the penalty calls and officiating overall (it wasn’t good) but the Jets penalty kill which had been doing ok over the last month fell back into some very bad habits as they fell behind 3-2.

Even with things back at five on five, the Jackets carried play for most of the period with 18-9 lead in shots overall and a 4-1 edge in 5 on 5 high danger scoring chances. Again, without Brossoit this game could have been much worse.

Sure enough before the period ended, the Jets got the game back to even as Adam Lowry got the puck to Mathieu Perreault who didn’t get all of the one-timer but got enough to fool rookie goalie Elvis Merzlikins.

Also near the end of the second period, the Jets lost both Josh Morrissey and Nathan Beaulieu to injuries as Morrissey took a puck to the back of his leg/knee on a strange dump-in attempt and Beaulieu had a Jackets shot go off his hand.

All this while the Jets continued to deal with rather questionable officiating based on some very well done acting from Columbus which at least gave us maybe the funniest moment we’ll have all season from the captain…

Going into the third with just four defensemen, tied at 3-3 against a team that had scored three power play goals and was 9-1-1 when scoring first in the game didn’t seem to bode well for Winnipeg.

Third Period

In a strange turn of events, the third ends up being the Jets best period – maybe due to a renewed focus by the forwards to help cover for the four remaining defensemen – as they out-shoot the Jackets 12-6 and have a 9-5 lead in overall scoring chances in the period. The Jets also benefited from finally getting a couple of power plays which helped the club save some ice time on the defense as they ran with five forwards for both power plays.

Lest you think it was all sunshine and rainbows in the third though, the Jets continued to deal with strange injuries as Brossoit left the game halfway through the third.

Coach Paul Maurice mentioned post-game that Brossoit left with some mild cramping and Laurent was seen minutes later wanting to get back into the game, but Maurice felt more comfortable with letting Connor Hellebuyck close things out which he did with five saves in about 11 minutes of play.

For a moment it looked like we were headed to overtime, but thanks to a strange sequence with a rookie goalie, the Jets were blessed with some late Andrew Copp heroics.

Jets get back in the W column with a 4-3 victory in a game that might be talked about for a while yet.

TL;DR Why The Jets Won

Laurent Brossoit (and yes Connor Hellebuyck) were very strong in goal and the Jets did benefit from some shaky goaltending in the Columbus end.

JetsNation’s Top Gun

On the ice, Brossoit far and away was the man of the night for Winnipeg as his 27 saves helped keep the Jets within striking distance when they fell behind.

Off the ice, the Jets medical staff had their hands full with three different injuries. After the game it was noted that both Morrissey and Brossoit should be fine with a few days between now and the Jets next game. Nathan Beaulieu though will need to be evaluated further with the puck going off his hand.

The Boxscore

Next Flight

You got a few days to pick up some extra sleep because the Jets will be doing a lot of late night hockey over the next week out in California. Game one of their west coast roadie has them in San Jose to play the Sharks on Wednesday. Puck drop is 9:30 PM CST and the game will be broadcast on TSN 3 and TSN 1290.