RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Winnipeg Jets showed they could win even when they aren't at their best, especially if Blake Wheeler comes through in the clutch.
Wheeler scored his second goal of the game with 4:54 to play as the Jets withstood a wild third period to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Thursday night at PNC Arena.
"It was big just to find a way to win," Wheeler said. "It wasn't necessarily our 'A' game. You have to find a way to win when you don't have your best game."
It was a rewarding game for Jets captain Andrew Ladd, who appeared in his 500th NHL contest playing against the team that drafted him.
Wheeler's winning goal was the third goal in a 63-second span, breaking in from the blue line to beat Carolina goalie Cam Ward and snap another tie.
The Jets (7-8-1) have won three consecutive road games, something they never did last season.
The Hurricanes (8-6-1) have lost back-to-back games for the first time since the first two games of the season.
"It was a pretty choppy game, pretty sloppy," Ladd said. "We got some timely goals. It was just important to get two points."
Ladd put the Jets ahead 3-2 on a goal off Bryan Little's faceoff with 5:57 to play. Carolina's Jiri Tlusty answered with his second goal of the game 47 seconds later.
It was a busy third period.
Winnipeg's Evander Kane scored with 17:50 remaining. Carolina's Jordan Staal answered less than 90 seconds later, skipping the puck past Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
Pavelec made 27 saves. Ward stopped 19 shots.
The Hurricanes never held the lead.
"We have to do a better job when we tie a game," Tlusty said. "We have to play a few good shifts and get momentum."
The outcome was something to cherish for Ladd, a former Carolina first-round draft pick. He assisted on the first goal in the milestone appearance.
"It was fun to play back in this building for No. 500," Ladd said. "A team that trades you, you have something to prove every time you come back here."
Ladd played 137 games with Carolina before going to Chicago and later to the Atlanta/Winnipeg organization.
The outcome wasn't preferred by Carolina defenseman Ryan Murphy, but it was a memorable game nonetheless. The 2011 first-round draft pick made his NHL debut after he was called up from his junior team, Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League.
"Unfortunately, we came out on the wrong side," the 19-year-old Murphy said. "(You get out there) and figure out they're hockey players just like me."
Wheeler scored less than two minutes into the game on a shot from the top of the right circle.
Tlusty tied it for Carolina with 1:21 left in the first period, set up by Alexander Semin's behind-the-back pass.
Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian was denied by a shot that hit the post on the Jets' 5-on-3 power play late in the second period.
Chad LaRose of the Hurricanes had a shot go off the left post in the opening period.
NOTES: Hurricanes center Jeff Skinner missed his second game in a row with what has been termed a concussion. It occurred Feb. 14 against Toronto, though it wasn't diagnosed right away. Skinner, the 2010-11 NHL Rookie of the Year, also missed time last season with a concussion. ... Ladd and Carolina's Eric Staal entered the game tied for the NHL lead in goals by captains, with eight apiece. ... Winnipeg defenseman Zach Redmond missed his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. ... The game began a 10-game stretch that includes seven home outings for the Hurricanes. ... It was the second of five road games in a row for the Jets.