The Jets returned home to the Winnipeg Arena last night and stayed even with the high scoring, league favourite Detroit Red Wings, battling to a 5-5 draw in front of a capacity crowd.
Winnipeg’s central division rivals came in last night coming off a dominating 9-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers and got all they could handle from the Jets, needing to late goals to come back and grab a single point. Although it feels like a missed opportunity for Winnipeg who had a 2 goal lead going into the third, it is a decent result against a team of this calibre.
The Jets came out hard in the first and threw their weight around to try and slow the high poweredDetroitoffense. Darren Turcotte opened the scoring forWinnipegoff a beautiful feed from Teemu Selanne that gaveWinnipega 1-0 lead. The rest of the opening period was dominated by the officials with a total of 7 power plays being handed out with each team get a goal with the extra man. Darren Mccarty tied the game first forDetroitbefore Teppo Numminen put Winnipeg back up after his slap shot went off Niklas Lidstoms stick to give the Jets a 2-1 advantage going into the second.
The second period continued to be dominated by special teams as each team got another power play marker, Ciccarelli for Detroit and Turcotte with his second of the night for Winnipeg. Dallas Drake also added a beauty shorthanded goal as he intercepted a pass and went in alone and backhanded a shot past Detroit goaltender Mike Vernon. Winnipeg took the 4-2 lead in to the last period where it quickly disappeared as Detroit scored 3 straight goals, the last on a break away by Sergei Federov which put the Wings up 5-4 and completely silenced the home crowd. The resilient Jets wouldn’t give in however and Igor Korolev scored the equalizer, his fifth of the season with just ten minutes left. The teams traded chances for the rest of the period and the extra time, but neither goaltender allowed any thing else past them.
Dallas Drakes goal gave him a point in each of the last 3 games, while Keith Tkachuk missed his third game but is expected to return to the line up this week. Tim Cheveldae started his third game in a row and is still winless, stopping 22 of 27 shots. Mike Vernon made 21 saves on 26 shots to equal his record at 1-1-1. Winnipeg continues its home stand tomorrow night hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning.
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