Ladd leads Jets past Penguins
Andrew Ladd scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Winnipeg Jets won their first home game of the season, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2.
Evander Kane, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler, with a late empty-net goal, also scored for the Jets.
It didn’t start that well for Winnipeg after Sidney Crosby put on a scoring clinic in the first with two goals to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead.
But it was all Jets in the second, as Kane scored early, Byfuglien tied it just over 10 minutes later and Ladd then put the Jets ahead for good.
Crosby got things started for the Penguins just 4:26 in, when he raised one past Ondrej Pavelec’s right shoulder on the short side that grazed the post and slipped into the net.
A little more than 10 minutes later, Crosby skated in front of the net and finessed a soft backhander past Pavelec and Byfuglien before either appeared to know what happened. It was Crosby’s third goal of the early season.
In the second, Kane took a pass from Wheeler and Byfuglien right in front of Tomas Vokoun and scored.
Byfuglien evened things up as he slammed one in from the blue line, taking advantage of a holding penalty against Evgeni Malkin.
Ladd then put the Jets ahead for good from the right faceoff circle on a quick pass from linemate Bryan Little at 17:54.
Crosby hears winter’s call
Crosby fed his inner Canadian by walking to his team’s pre-game skate.
“I just wanted to get outside and experience a Canadian winter again,” said Crosby. “Believe it or not you miss it a little bit. You miss seeing the snow.”
Winnipeg delivered on the snow with a side helping of temperatures of minus 9.
“It’s hockey weather, so it’s nice to get out. ... I definitely forgot how cold it was but it’s nice to be here,” Crosby said.
Crosby didn’t play with the team when the Penguins visited Winnipeg last season. But he has played at the MTS Centre before as a member of Canada’s world junior team.
“It’s exciting,” he said, referring to his NHL debut at MTS. “Any time you play at a newer venue or somewhere you haven’t played in a while, I think you always get excited for that.”
He also said it would be nice to see hockey return to another Canadian venue where real winter is no stranger.
There are no franchise shifts on the horizon, but Quebec City would be a leading contender for a relocated team now that Winnipeg has rejoined the NHL.