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Comeback Complete: Jets Beat Devils 5-4 in Shootout Friday

By Carter Brooks

Photo by James Carey Lauder

The Winnipeg Jets completed a comeback of biblical proportions Friday evening, scoring four unanswered goals before earning a 5-4 shootout victory at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

Comeback Complete: Jets Beat Devils 5-4 in Shootout Friday

After giving up the first four goals of the game through the opening 39:49, including a potential goal of the year candidate from forward Blake Coleman, Winnipeg put together the next four goals in 12:46 of play, silencing the boisterous crowd gathered in Newark. 

Dmitry Kulikov got things started with a seeing-eye point shot with just seconds remaining in the second frame. Jack Roslovic potted his first goal of the season on a rebound marker 2:41 into the third period. Mathieu Perreault found the twine with 13 minutes to play, before newly-acquired defenceman Neal Pionk tied the game with seven minutes to play.

Captain Blake Wheeler hit the post twice in the dying seconds before the final horn rang, sending the game to overtime. A back-and-forth extra frame provided much excitement for fans of both teams, as two-on-ones, breakaways, and key offensive cycles created chances on both sides of the ice. 

With no resolve through five minutes of three-on-three, the game went to a shootout, where the teams exchanged goals as Nikita Gusev and Kyle Connor opened scoring. After five-straight misses, Wheeler made up for his missed opportunities earlier and potted the game-winner on a patient backhand marker. 

Backup netminder Laurent Brossoit stopped 35 of 39 Devils shots, while New Jersey starter Cory Schneider stopped 19 of 21 shots before leaving the game with an apparent groin injury early on in the third period. MacKenzie Blackwood made seven stops in relief. Mark Scheifele, Mathieu Perreault and Neal Pionk each put up two points in the victory for Winnipeg, while Blake Coleman registered two goals for the Devils.

The Jets will conclude their season-opening three-game road trip on Sunday evening in a battle with the New York Islanders at 6:00 PM central at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The game will be available on Sportsnet. 

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com.

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