Ladd, Jets down Penguins at MTS Centre
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Andrew Ladd's wrister capped a three-goal second period, as the Winnipeg Jets took down the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-2, on Friday at MTS Centre.
Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien added a goal apiece in the second stanza, while Blake Wheeler added an empty-netter late in the third to help the Jets earn their second consecutive victory.
Ondrej Pavelec turned away 33 shots in the triumph.
"When you're at home you start getting the crowd behind you and it becomes an extra player for you," Jets coach Claude Noel said of his team earning their first home win. "They were right into the game."
Sidney Crosby, playing in his first career game in Winnipeg, recorded both Pittsburgh goals in the first period and Tomas Vokoun was charged for three goals on 31 shots for the Penguins, who have dropped two straight.
"We turned some pucks over and made mistakes and they capitalized on them," Crosby admitted. "Just mistakes on our part."
The Canadian-born Crosby staked the Penguins to a 2-0 lead, but the Jets roared back with a three-goal second to take control.
Kane started the flurry with a wrister just 1:10 into the stanza before Byfuglien knotted the game with a point blast that sailed high over the glove hand of Vokoun to make it 2-2 at the 13:35 mark.
Then, with just over two minutes left in the second, Ladd took a nice feed from Bryan Little and one-timed the puck into the back of the net for a 3-2 edge.
Pavelec kept the Penguins at bay in the third, stopping all nine shots he faced in the frame to maintain Winnipeg's one-goal edge.
Pittsburgh opted for the extra attacker late in the third before Wheeler found the back of the net at the 18:52 mark to account for the final margin.
Crosby's first goal came at the 4:26 mark of the first when he took a slick pass from Chris Kunitz at the right boards and slipped a quick shot through the right armpit of Pavelec for a 1-0 edge.
Then, with just over five minutes left in the first, Crosby carried it down the left wing and switched to his backhand inside the left circle to avoid a stick check before flipping a shot from the slot that slipped through the five-hole of Pavelec to double Pittsburgh's advantage.