Penguins 3, Jets 1By Jason Bell, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Feb 15, 2013 10:00 PM EST
WINNIPEG -- Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots as the Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Friday night at MTS Centre to assume the top spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference. On a night when all-star forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal were noticeably mundane for most of it, Fleury dazzled to post his seventh victory of the shortened NHL season. Craig Adams scored a pair of goals for Pittsburgh (10-5-0), including his first goal of the season early in the first period, and Neal fired his 11th with the visitors on a two-man advantage with just under five minutes left in the game. Jets' captain Andrew Ladd scored his seventh goal of the year with just over a minute left after the hosts pulled goalie Ondrej Pavelec for an extra attacker. Adams scored into an empty net with just seconds left. Pavelec was solid in goal for Winnipeg (5-7-1). He stopped 25 shots and had no chance on either Pittsburgh goals. Jets' Tobias Enstrom, tied with Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues as the NHL's top-scoring defensemen with 13 points apiece, left the game early in the first period and did not return after being slammed cleanly into the boards by Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis. Less than a minute later, Adams found himself alone in front of Jets' goalie Ondrej Pavelec and, after missing on two swipes at the puck, knocked in his first goal of the year. Pavelec was then forced to make big stops on Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz to keep it a one-goal game. Outshot 12-6 in the opening period, Winnipeg gave its fans little to cheer about, save for a slick between-the-legs dangle by center Alexander Burmistrov who deked defenseman Matt Niskanen and cut in on Fleury before promptly snapping the puck over the glass. Then with just 35 seconds left, Jets forward Bryan Little went in on a breakaway but was denied as Fleury waited him out and then threw up his leg to make a sensational save. Fleury maintained his edge in the second period, stoning the Jets on several scoring chances. His best was a pad save through traffic on a shot by ex-teammate Eric Tangradi, traded just days ago from Pittsburgh to Winnipeg. The Pens led 1-0 after 40 minutes. Winnipeg pressed for the tying goal in the final frame but couldn't solve Fleury. And then after defensemen Zach Redmond and Mark Stuart took minor penalties, Crosby set up Neal the power-play score at 15:11. The Jets pulled Pavelec with 1:40 left in the game and Ladd slipped a puck past a sprawling Fleury on the Jets' 26th shot of the game. NOTES: Just 48 hours after being dealt to Winnipeg, Tangradi suited up against the Penguins, the team that traded him. The 24-year-old forward had dressed for just five games prior to the trade. ... The Penguins made their second visit of the season to the MTS Centre. The first was a 4-2 loss to the Jets on Jan. 25. That night, Crosby scored twice in the first period to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead, but after that it was all Jets. ... Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian played his first game of the season after a long recovery from off-season wrist surgery. ... Pittsburgh has scored first a league-best 12 times this season -- including all nine on the road. ... Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik became the seventh player in club history to play in 600 career games. Among defensemen, only Ron Stackhouse (621 games) has appeared in more games. ... The Jets host Boston on Sunday and then play nine of their next 11 games on the road. ... Pittsburgh wraps up a two-game road trip in Buffalo on Sunday. ... The game against the Jets marked the four-year anniversary for Dan Bylsma as Pittsburgh coach.
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