San Jose goaltender Arturs Irbe was the story last night when the Sharks, yet to win this season, came into Winnipeg to face the Jets. Winnipeg fired everything they had at the Latvian netminder but the 5’8 goalie stood tall making great save after great save and getting the Sharks in the position to earn a 3-3 tie.
The Jets carried the play for most of the game last night, carried by big winger Keith Tkachuk in by far his best effort of the year. Tkachuk had a goal and added two assists to give him 5 points in his last two games. Teemu Selanne also added a goal and an assist to the Jets cause to finally get him going in what many have called a slow start to the year for the Finnish flash. Although jumping out to another 2 goal lead after 2 periods, the Jets again let it slip away in the third period. It was just two games ago when the Jets took a 4-2 two period against Detroit only to surrender 3 straight and have to fight back to earn a tie. The third period collapses are something this team is going to have to put a stop to if they are looking to get a playoff spot this year.
The first period started quickly for the Jets as Tkachuk took a pass from Jason Doig and blasted it five hole to give the Jets the lead just 4 and a half minutes into the contest. The Jets continued to pressure the Sharks but none of the further 9 shots in the period beat Irbe and the 1-0 lead took them into the second. Eleven minutes into the second period the Jets finally solved Irbe again as Tkachuk sprung Selanne for a breakaway goal on the power play to put the Jets up two.
The third period started bad for Winnipeg, in the opening minute Darryl Shannon took a questionable interference call and San Jose made them pay when Ulf Dahlen slid one past Cheveldae just a minute later, getting the Sharks back into the game. It did not take long for the Jets to answer however when just over a minute later Igor Korolev scored his seventh of the year, banging in a rebound on a power play of their own. The rest of the game belonged to the Sharks as they got goals from Pat Falloon and Andrei Nazarov less than a minute apart to tie the game. San Jose sent 9 more shots in the direction of Tim Cheveldae but were turned away.
Overtime saw just one shot between the two teams, although Winnipeg was forced to kill a Dave Manson penalty which resulted in some San Jose pressure but neither team could get the winner. Arturs Irbe finished with 27 saves on 30 shots to move to 0-3-2 on the season, while Cheveldae playing again made 23 saves on 26 shots to go to 1-2-2.
Winnipeg goes back on the road to face Anaheimon October 22nd in their next action.