The Jets had two streaks to deal with heading into Monday's game with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Winnipeg was riding a five-game losing skid and had dropped 12 straight to the Lightning. The last meeting between these two teams on October 29th ended in a goaltenders duel between Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavalec and Tampa's Dwayne Roloson, with the Lightning emerging victorious with a 1-0 win.
With the Jets struggling, head coach Claude Noel shuffled up a number of the lines moving leading points scorer Nik Antropov and captain Andrew Ladd together with speedy centerman Kyle Wellwood who moved over to right wing.
Winnipeg started weak missing a number of chances, but that was soon remedied when Dustin Byfuglien kept the puck in at the blue line and sent a pass across to Evander Kane. Kane let fly with a snap-shot over the shoulder of Roloson and potted his team leading sixth goal of the season. Then at the seven minute mark, Byfuglien decided to show off his hardest shot a day early (the Jets skills competition is scheduled for Tuesday) by rocketing a slap-shot past Roloson. For the rest of the game the Jets remained in control of both the offensive and defensive zones and made a strong stand numerous times at neutral ice.
Former Moose defenseman Mark Flood added to his growing point total with the game winner on the power play just before the midway point of the second period. Ladd and winger Tim Stapleton netted the remaining two goals to propel the Jets to their 5-2 trouncing over the Lightning.
Tampa Bay leading scorer Steven Stamkos garnered a lot of boos from the crowd every time he touched the puck, but still managed to get both a goal and assist.
Winnipeg's next game is at MTS Centre against the 10-4-1 Washington Capitals on Thursday.
The Jets First Skills Competition will start at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at MTS Centre and will feature five events including the Fastest Skater, the Hardest Shot, the Accuracy Shooting competition, the Puck Control Relay and a Breakaway Competition. Proceeds from the Skills Competition will benefit the Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund.
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