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Wheeler lifts Jets over Hurricanes
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Blake Wheeler scored the game-winning goal with just under five minutes left to lift the Winnipeg Jets past the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-3, on Thursday.
Wheeler also lit the lamp in the first period, while Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd added one goal apiece for the Jets, who have won the first two tilts of a five-game road swing.
"It wasn't the prettiest game we're going to win but it doesn't matter," Wheeler said. "It's two points in the standings against a division rival."
Ondrej Pavelec had 27 saves in the triumph.
Jiri Tlusty scored a pair of goals and Jordan Staal added one goal for the Hurricanes, who have dropped back-to-back contests following a three-game winning streak.
Cam Ward stopped 19 shots in the setback.
Kane broke a 1-1 deadlock just 2:10 into the third period with a goal from the right circle. Kane corralled a loose puck deep in the Carolina zone, skated to the bottom of the right circle and ripped a snap shot between Ward and the near post.
The Hurricanes answered just 1 1/2 minutes later when Staal beat Pavelec with a goal off a faceoff in the offensive zone. Staal took a pass from Jay Harrison in traffic and blasted a wrister to tie the game 2-2.
Just under 11 minutes elapsed before Ladd's wrister off a rebound put the Jets back in front, 3-2.
Carolina, though, knotted it up at 3-3 with Tlusty's second goal of the night at 14:50. Tlusty corralled a loose puck in the Winnipeg zone, skated to the net and fired a snap shot past Pavelec.
"We have to do a better job," Tlusty said. "We didn't execute after the goal we scored and that was the big key."
Wheeler scored the game-winner 16 seconds later on a breakaway. After the puck bounced off a Carolina defenseman, Wheeler controlled the disc and sent it over Ward's glove for the eventual game-winner.
The Jets got on the board just 1:53 into the game when Wheeler lit the lamp with a wrister from the top of the left circle.
Carolina tied the game with 1:21 remaining in the first period when Alexander Semin found Tlusty with a spectacular between-the-legs pass. Tlusty banged it past Pavelec to pull even with the visitors.
Jets defenseman Zach Redmond was hospitalized Thursday after having his leg seriously cut by a teammate's skate during a morning practice. Redmond sustained a laceration to the back of his leg as the Jets were preparing for Thursday's game. The rookie was transported to a local hospital for an emergency procedure after reportedly losing a significant amount of blood, but the injury is not considered life-threatening ... The Jets have won five of the last seven meetings with Carolina ... Ladd, who played in his 500th career game, also had two assists.
02/22 00:35:15 ET