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Jets rally to down Sharks in SO, 5-4

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - Two clutch shots by Andrew Ladd gave the Winnipeg Jets a comeback win.

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Ladd scored the tying goal with 1:43 remaining in regulation and then delivered the shootout winner to lift Winnipeg over the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Sunday night.

''We needed a goal at the end,'' said Ladd, who scored his fifth of the season. ''(Bryan Little) made a great play, and I tried to get it off as quick as I could.''

Michael Frolik, Dustin Byfulgien and Grant Clitsome also scored for the Jets. Ladd had the lone goal in the tiebreaker.

Dan Boyle scored two power-play goals for San Jose, but the defenseman couldn't beat Ondrej Pavelec in the shootout. Pavelec stopped Logan Couture, Tommy Wingels and Boyle.

Tomas Hertl and Wingels each had a goal for the Sharks (10-2-5), who lost in a shootout for the third time in their last four games.

Ladd tied it late in the third period on a quick shot from the left circle with Blake Wheeler screening goalie Antti Niemi.

The Sharks took a 4-3 lead early in the third period on a precise play, with Couture's no-look, backhand pass setting up Boyle for an easy goal from point-blank range.

Even then, the Jets believed they could force overtime.

''We still felt there was time on the clock and we could get some stuff done,'' coach Claude Noel said.

Patrick Marleau appeared to have scored the overtime winner for San Jose, but the goal was disallowed when Wingels made contact with Pavelec in the crease.

''It's a discretionary call that occurs in a game,'' San Jose coach Todd McLellan said.

Pavelec thought Wingels pushed him in the back and the call was warranted.

''We made strides as far as our competitiveness,'' McLellan said. ''But I still don't think we're at our best.''

Niemi stopped 42 shots, while Pavelec made 30 saves for Winnipeg.

The Jets have won back-to-back games for the first time since the first two this season.

The Sharks took a two-goal lead into the first intermission despite being badly outplayed for much of the opening period. The Jets, who scored four first-period goals against Nashville on Friday night, were buzzing around Niemi early, but the goalie kept the game scoreless.

Winnipeg had a 10-2 lead in shots when Boyle's point shot on the power play opened the scoring for San Jose at 14:04. Less than 2 minutes later, Jason Demers sprung Hertl on a breakaway with an 80-foot pass, and he beat Pavelec with a deke to his forehand for his 10th goal of the season.

''The way the game played out, I thought we had a really good first period,'' Ladd said. ''A couple mistakes and we're down 2-0. A lot of times it's tough to come in and be positive, but I thought we did a good job of that, and a good job of sticking to our game plan.''

Noel thought his team responded well to the early deficit.

''I thought we were resilient in the game,'' he said. ''I thought we didn't lose our focus, we didn't lose our hope, and we easily could have after the first period.

''To me it was a huge building block for our team.''

The Jets drew even in the second period, beating Niemi three times on 17 shots. Frolik scored off a perfect cross-crease pass from Matt Halischuk to make it 2-1, only to see the Sharks restore their two-goal lead 41 seconds later on a high shot from in tight by Wingels.

Byfuglien scored his first goal of the season - on his 64th shot on goal - to make it 3-2, and Clitsome drew the Jets even with a wrist shot through traffic from 50 feet out.

NOTES: The Jets went 0 for 2 on the power play and have one power-play goal in their last 14 games. ... San Jose plays its next three games in Western Canada before a trip to Chicago next weekend. ... Winnipeg plays in Detroit on Tuesday night before returning home to face Philadelphia.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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