Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – Michael Hutchinson made 32 saves, Evander
Kane scored two goals and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2
on Tuesday night.
Both of Kane’s tallies came on the power play, including an empty-netter with
less than a minute left to seal the win.
Andrew Ladd scored the eventual game-winner for the Jets in the second period,
just 31 seconds after Kane’s first goal of the game.
Bryan Little gave Winnipeg a 1-0 lead just nine seconds into the game with his
seventh goal of the season, but a Jordan Leopold power-play goal for Columbus
tied the game minutes later.
Ryan Johansen added a goal for the Blue Jackets in the third period and Sergei
Bobrovsky made 28 saves in the loss.
The Jets went right to work after winning the opening faceoff. A nifty one-
touch pass along the boards from Blake Wheeler set up a give-and-go between
Ladd and Little, who backhanded the puck past Bobrovsky.
On a power play a few minutes later, Leopold scored his first goal since being
acquired from St. Louis on Nov. 15 on a wrist shot from the top of the left
Kane was effective early on Winnipeg’s penalty kill. He forced Bobrovsky to
make a glove save on the first Jackets power play, and his touch pass to
Wheeler late in the period drew a high-sticking double minor on Johansen.
The Jets were unable to take advantage, though, and the game remained 1-1
after the power play ended early in the second period.
A pair of Winnipeg penalties gave the Blue Jackets a 5-on-3 opportunity where
they generated plenty of pressure on Hutchinson, but a Scott Hartnell
goaltender interference penalty ended the threat.
Minutes later, Dustin Byfuglien found Kane parked in front of the net between
Blue Jackets and delivered a pass that Kane redirected past Bobrovsky to put
the Jets up 2-1.
Moments after the go-ahead goal, Ladd wristed one past Bobrovsky with traffic
in front of the net for the quick 3-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Columbus could not take advantage of its opportunities. A pass sent
Cam Atkinson all alone on Hutchinson, but the goaltender held his ground and
did not allow Atkinson to even get a shot off.
Not long after, Zach Bogosian fell over behind the net, turning the puck over
to Boone Jenner right in front of Hutchinson. The goalie was able to move
side-to-side and stop the Jenner shot.
Wheeler had a chance to put the game away in the third when he split the
Columbus defense to move in on goal, but Bobrovsky made the stop to keep the
Blue Jackets in the game.
Seizing the momentum after Bobrovsky’s big save, Johansen found the loose puck
behind the net minutes later. On the backhand, he wrapped around to the slot
and shot the puck past Hutchinson for his eighth of the season to cut the
deficit to 3-2.
Perhaps the best Columbus chance to tie the game came with eight minutes left.
Artem Anisimov set up Brian Gibbons for a shot on a 2-on-1 breakaway, but it
missed the net. The carom off the glass went right to Anisimov, but he was
unable to stuff the puck into the net with Hutchinson out of position.
Columbus attempted to pull Bobrovsky for the extra skater, but a turnover as
he was leaving the ice proved costly. Bobrovsky had to skate back toward his
goal to stop a shot at the vacated net, but the extra skater had already come
on the ice, resulting in a penalty.
With the net empty and Winnipeg on the power play, Kane scored his second of
the game and fourth of the season to seal the win.
Five Jets had two-point games … Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski played
in his 500th NHL game and scored his 250th point with an assist on Johansen’s
goal … Winnipeg has allowed a power-play goal in six consecutive games.