Jets 3, Lightning 2

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 24, 2013
Bryan Little had a goal and two assists and the Winnipeg Jets made the Tampa Bay' Lightning's bad day worse with a 3-2 victory on Sunday night. Earlier in the day, the Lightning fired coach Guy Boucher. Assistants Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix shared coaching duties for the game against the Jets. Defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom also scored and Blake Wheeler picked up two assists for Winnipeg, which snapped a two-game skid. Steven Stamkos scored his league-leading 22nd goal of the season on the power play and rookie Cory Conacher also scored for the Lightning. Winnipeg goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves, while Cedric Desjardins stopped 21 shots for the Lightning. The victory kept the Jets atop the NHL Southeast Division and in third place in the Eastern Conference. Tampa ended a three-game road trip without a win. While the Lightning spent a lot of the first period in Winnipeg's end, it was the Jets who scored first when Little sent a wrist shot over Desjardins' glove at 14:02. Tampa outshot the Jets 12-8 in the opening period. Winnipeg made it 2-0 just 11 seconds after Lightning center Tyler Johnson was called for tripping early in the second. Byfuglien curled into the middle of the left faceoff circle and blasted a low shot that went between Desjardins' pads at 2:24. He has nine points in his last eight games. Tampa quickly got its own power-play goal after Jets right-winger Chris Thorborn was sent off for kneeing Teddy Purcell. Seven seconds later, Stamkos one timed a high shot past Pavelec at 6:20. High-sticking penalties against Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian and Tampa's Martin St. Louis had the teams skating 4-on-4. Enstrom, in his first game back after missing 19 games with a shoulder injury, took a pass from Andrew Ladd directly in front of Desjardins and beat the goalie with a high shot to make it 3-1 at 9:35. The Jets were missing defensemen Ron Hainsey (hand) and Mark Stuart (undisclosed). Pavelec made a highlight reel save with about four minutes left in the period when three Lightning players came in alone on him and he whipped out his glove to catch a shot by Conacher. Tampa had a 19-17 edge in shots on goal after the middle frame. Another 4-on-4 situation set up the Lightning's second goal when Eric Brewer's shot from the point was deflected into the net by Conacher at 5:01 of the third. NOTES: The Jets are 12-1-0 when leading after the second period this season. ... Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd's assist gave him eight points in his last eight games. ... It was the third of four games between the clubs this season, with Winnipeg taking a 2-1 lead in the series.
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