Jets get another road victory

Jim Hague, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Winnipeg Jets are making the most of their five-game road trip.
"There's a quiet confidence right now," said Jets head coach Claude Noel, whose team defeated the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Sunday to earn their third win in their current road trip. "For some reason, we're finding ways to score. I think it's part of maturity and growth. We went through a lot of struggles on the road last year. We understand now what it takes to win on the road."
The Jets trailed 2-1 to start the second period, but then scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Devils in New Jersey for the first time since 2009.
Grant Clitsome tied the game with a power-play goal in the second period that gave the Jets (8-9-1) some huge momentum. Then Winnipeg sealed the deal when Evander Kane scored on a breakaway goal in the second period off a bad Devils pass in their own zone. The Jets' leading scorer and captain, Andrew Ladd, added insurance with a goal in the third period.
"Getting a road win in this building is never easy," Noel said. "It's really unbelievable. This team is resilient. They've faced adversity all year."
The Jets conclude the trip with a game Tuesday in New York against the Rangers.
Kane's goal was the backbreaker for the Devils (10-5-4), who lost for the fourth time in five games and lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since March 2012.
"We made a poor decision at the blue line with the puck," said Devils coach Peter DeBoer, referring to Adam Larsson's weak cross-ice pass that Kane intercepted. "He's perhaps the fastest guy in the league. If you give him a step, you're not going to stop him."
The Devils were on an attack, but Larsson, a second-year defenseman, gave the puck away to Kane, who skated in through two New Jersey defenders. When Johan 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 with 2:12 left in the second period.
"After I deflected it, I just took off," Kane said. "I knew that they couldn't get to me. It was just a matter of me getting the goal. I guess I made a nice play."
Ladd added his 10th goal of the season off a fine hustle play by Blake Wheeler in the third period to ice the victory. Wheeler had two assists for the winners.
"We're playing better now and getting goals at key times," Ladd said. "Confidence is a big thing. We got the one goal on the power play, and that just got things rolling. We went through a little tough stretch before this trip. Maybe we need a few more road games. Our guys have learned how to step up and finish things off like this one."
Zach Bogosian scored his first goal of the season in the first period for Winnipeg.
"I think this win was huge," Bogosian said. "Any time you come up big on the road and get a win against a good team, it's big, especially in a shortened season, when teams are going to experience their ups and downs. We were in a funk for a while and we've come out of it on the road. It was a good team effort."
The Jets had goals from unexpected sources along their back line. Besides Bogosian scoring his first goal of the season, fellow defenseman Clitsome scored his second goal.
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 Hedberg, a last-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. After the game, Brodeur said that he experienced back pain and had been battling the problem for a few days.
"I thought I could play, but after I went on the ice, I knew I couldn't even give it a try," Brodeur said.
The Jets were clearly the more physical and energy-filled squad in the early going.
Eventually, the Jets did what they have done in the prior five games -- they scored first.
Bogosian scored off a smart play from 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. Andrei 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 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 penalty, 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 the puck still went into the goal, tying the game at 2-2 at 13:01 of the second period.
Ladd then put the finishing touches on the win by firing a wrist shot past Hedberg and a 4-2 lead.
NOTES: Before the game, the Devils placed left wing Ryan Carter on the injured list and recalled center 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 left wing Stefan Matteau. Coach DeBoer said that the rookie is "a little banged up." ... The Jets scratched defenseman Tobias Enstrom, the leading scorer among Winnipeg defensemen with two goals and 11 assists. ... The Jets won the first two games of the trip against Buffalo and Carolina.

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