A late third period flurry by the Penguins was not enough as Jets’ goalie Ondrej Pavelec stopped 28 shots en route to the Jets’ first win of the season. Despite being ranked close to last in every statistical offensive category, Winnipeg’s offense struck early on defensive miscues by the Pens.
Mark Letestu won the opening faceoff for the Pens, with the puck falling back to Zbynek Michalek. The first-line forwards for Winnipeg swarmed Michalek, forcing him to turn the puck over, and within eight seconds of the opening faceoff, Kyle Wellwood found the back of the net, sliding a backhand shot past Marc-Andre Fleury.
Winnipeg dominated both sides of the puck early on, forcing turnovers in the neutral zone and forcing Fleury to shut down their offense. After another giveaway by the Pens, Winnipeg scored their second and eventually, game-winning, goal with only 1:33 left in the first period. Forward Alex Burmistrov forced the turnover and quickly dished the puck to Tanner Glass in the slot. Glass fired a one-timer past Fleury to make it 2-0 Winnipeg.
The Pens chances piled up in the second period. From stellar defensive plays by the Jets, to shots dinging off the posts, to Pavelec being brilliant in net, the Pens were shut down. However, with 1:38 left in the second period, Michalek cut the Jets’ lead in half by firing a mean slapshot past Pavelec, being brilliantly set up by Matt Cooke and Kris Letang.
The third period was a back and forth battle of goaltending between Fleury and Pavelec. Fleury was magnificent in the third period keeping the Pens alive, but it wasn’t enough. The Pens got some of their best chances on a late power-play and a 6-on-4 advantage with Fleury pulled, but they failed to convert.
The Pens play again on Tuesday at Minnesota. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m.
1. Ondrej Pavelec (28 saves)
2. Marc-Andre Fleury (33 saves)
3. Alex Burmistrov (2 assists, +2)
Goals: PIT: Zbynek Michalek (1); WIN: Kyle Wellwood (2), Tanner Glass (1)
Assists: PIT: Kris Letang, Matt Cooke; WIN: Alex Burmistrov (2), Nik Antropov
In the Net:
PIT: Marc-Andre Fleury (L) 33-35
WIN: Ondrej Pavelec (W) 28-29