TAMPA, Fla – Rookie Mark Sheifele showed why the Jets made him their first draft pick when they came back to Winnipeg as he has been showing off his skills the last few weeks and stepped up and scored his 3rd goal of the season in overtime to give his team a 2-1 win over the Lightning.
Although he hasn’t been producing big-time points, he has been a force, as his line of Michael Frolik and Matt Halischuk have formed a solid third line whom Coach Claude Noel can play and trust in any situation of the game.
The Jets were coming off a tough loss and made sure they turned it around as they head home after the longest road trip of the season with a 4-2 record.
Backup goalie Al Montoya, getting a rare start, was once again stellar in between the pipes as he stopped 29 shots and weathered the storm in the third as Tampa came on strong and pressed the Jets hard.
“I thought Montoya played really strong,” Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said after the Jets finished their season-long, six-game road trip. “He battled back hard.”
Anders Linback was just as good for the Lightning as he made 34 saves in the loss.
Winnipeg got goals from Blake Wheeler his 7th from Jacob Trouba and Grant Clitsome and Scheifele got his 3rd from Wheeler.
The Jets came back with a solid sixty-minute game as they showed once again why they have the potential to be a playoff team when they stick to their game plan.
“There were different segments in the game,” Noel said. “We were good in the first period and they had a good second period. That late second period goal could have unnerved us, but we regrouped well. We had some people play hard. It was a really solid game.”
Lightning got their lone goal from Nate Thompson, his 2nd, from Marty St. Louis and Radko Gudas .
Mark Stuart got the Jets fired up as he and B.J. Crombeen dropped the mitts in the first and got things going.
The Jets will need to rely on the leadership group of Stuart , Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien , Bryan Little and Olli Jokinen to carry them over the hump if they want to make a run at the wild card spot in the Western Conference.1
“3-3 would not have felt very good,” Noel said. “4-2 is a lot more comforting for us. It would have been disappointing to go home 3-3.”
The Jets will return home for a Tuesday game against the Blues.
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