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NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Winnipeg

12:17 AM, Feb 24, 2012   |    comments
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Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Andrew Ladd scored and added a pair of assists as the Winnipeg Jets held off the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3, at MTS Centre.

Dustin Byfuglien has a goal and an assist, while Tanner Glass and Evander Kane also scored for the Jets, who have won four of their last five games.

Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves in the win, which moved the Jets one point ahead of the Florida Panthers for first place in the Southeast Division with 67 points. Florida lost in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

"I'm happy to say that were first in the division," Jets head coach Claude Noel said. "We've got games in hand, but they've got games in hand. I'm happy were there. I'm happy we're third in the conference. Don't know how long it'll happen. I thought we played a pretty good game."

Steven Stamkos and Teddy Purcell had a goal and an assist, while Martin St. Louis also scored for the Lightning, who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Mathieu Garon was torched for all four goals on 18 shots and Dwayne Roloson stopped all 16 shots he faced in relief.

After being completely outplayed for the first two periods, Tampa Bay woke up in the third and made it a game.

Trailing, 4-0, heading into the final stanza, the Lightning finally got on the board with nine minutes remaining in the game. Skating on the man advantage, Ryan Malone took a pass down low from Purcell and fed Stamkos, who rammed it home from in close for his league-leading 43rd goal of the season.

Tampa Bay scored twice in the final minute to make it 4-3 after Purcell found the back of the net with 53 seconds left off a rebound from Stamkos, and St. Louis scored with just eight seconds left with a quick wrister from the slot. The Jets, however, held on for the victory.

The Jets struck first 7:11 into the opening period after Bryan Little collected a loose puck behind the net, brought it around, and sent a pass to Ladd, who ripped a one-timer past Garon from the slot.

Winnipeg made it 2-0 with 5:01 to play in the first period after Mark Flood sent a centering pass to the slot for Glass, who tipped it home surrounded by a mad scramble in front.

The Jets added a pair of power-play goals in the second stanza to increase their lead to 4-0.

Kane scored just 1:36 into the period after he got a pass in the right circle from Byfuglien, turned toward the slot, and ripped a wrister that beat Garon through traffic.

Byfuglien capped the scoring for the Jets at 2:48 of the second stanza after he collected the disc at the right point and fired a slap shot into the net.

"I guess we are allergic to this place," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said. "We have had our worst two games of the year here. We didn't start very well and they started strong. We had two great scoring chances right off the bat, one an empty net. Then it came back our way, and for the first and second we weren't very good. I think we looked tight in the first and the second period."

GAME NOTES:
Despite the loss, Tampa Bay is 12-3-1 against the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise over the last three seasons...Stamkos has 18 goals and 31 points in his career against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, his highest totals against any NHL team...Winnipeg finished 2-for-3 with the man advantage, while the Lightning went 2-for-5 on the power play...Tampa Bay will play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, while the Jets will host the St. Louis Blues on Friday.

The Sports Network

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