Tony Stewart was the polesitter and led laps for the first | Forum

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WINNIPEG -- After a frantic first period Blake Wheeler might have been forgotten if not for what he did in the third. Cheap Nike Shoes Authentic . Wheeler scored two goals, including the winner, as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 6-4 on Friday in a game that featured a seven-goal first period. Wheeler ended a scramble in front of the Minnesota net when he poked the puck under a prone Niklas Backstrom with 9:20 remaining in the third period for his 14th goal of the season, giving the Jets a 5-4 lead. It was the ninth goal in December for Wheeler, who started the season with just five goals in his first 28 games. "I think confidence plays into it," he said of his recent success. "When the puck starts going in the net you find yourself getting into the scoring areas a little bit more. The puck seems to bounce your way a little bit more." Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen, Dustin Byfuglien and Toby Enstrom added goals for Winnipeg. Dany Heatley, Justin Fontaine, Stephane Veilleux and Mikko Koivu were the goal scorers for Minnesota. The Jets (17-18-5), who were coming off a humbling loss in Edmonton on Monday, finally managed to beat the Wild after losing each of the first three meetings between the teams. It was a fourth straight loss for the Wild (20-14-5), who have now dropped six of their last eight games. Neither team seemed interested in playing defence after the three-day Christmas break. The Jets led 4-3 after a first period that saw seven goals scored in the first 7:04, and featured three lead changes. "We dont have the luxury of finding reasons for things not being OK," said Wild coach Mike Yeo, who said the first period was clearly a by-product of the extended break. "Were in a position where we have to make things right." Minnesota struck first when Heatley scored on a wide-open net after a pass from Jason Pominville 2:13 into the game. But the Jets grabbed the lead before the game was six minutes old thanks to a short-handed goal by Kane and a one-timer in the low slot by Jokinen. "When they scored we responded, which was good to see," Kane said. It only took another 67 seconds for the Wild to go ahead 3-2, on goals by Fontaine and Veilleux. That ended Ondrej Pavelecs outing. The Jets starting goalie smashed his stick en route to the dressing room after allowing three goals on six shots, giving way to backup Al Montoya. Jets coach Claude Noel said the quick hook had more to do with his teams sluggish play in its own zone than anything. "I think our team needed a jolt," he said. Jets captain Andrew Ladd echoed the coach, saying that the team felt sympathy for the lack of support they provided for their goalkeeper. "I thought Monty did a great job once he got in there," Ladd said. "The first three goals, there was nothing Pav couldve done about them, so it was more about trying to get some momentum for our group on the bench." After nearly eight scoreless minutes, the Jets once again claimed the lead on late-period goals from Wheeler and Byfuglien. Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom allowed four goals on 11 first-period shots, and finished with 32 saves on 37 total shots. The lone goal in the second period came on a Wild power play, as a perfect passing sequence ended with an easy goal for Koivu to tie the game at 4-4. That was the only blemish for Montoya, who stopped the other 22 shots he faced. Enstrom added an empty-net goal from 175 feet with four seconds remaining. The Wild won each of the three previous meetings by one goal, including a shootout victory on Nov. 23. Both clubs return to action on Sunday, with the Jets travelling to Denver while the Wild head home to face the New York Islanders. Notes: Zach Parise, dealing with a lower-body injury, missed a second straight game for the Wild. ... The Jets were without defencemen Zach Bogosian (flu) and Mark Stuart, who was a late scratch with a lower-body injury after taking the morning skate. ... The teams have one remaining meeting, in Winnipeg on April 7. Discount Nike Shoes . The Grizzlies erased most of a 25-point deficit before Durant, the leagues scoring champion, got hot. Nike Shoes Sale . Hes coming back to fulfil them. One of Europes top coaches, Blatt was hired Friday by the Cavaliers, who ended a sweeping, 39-day search with an out-of-the-box selection they hope changes their fortunes.FORT WORTH, Texas -- With a significant lead and the laps winding down, Joey Logano kept thinking about getting to the white flag. Less than a half-lap from finally seeing that wave at Texas on Monday, a caution changed everything -- though only for a few extra laps. "My heart dropped. I got really angry instantly," said Logano, who was in the third turn on the 333rd of 334 scheduled laps when the caution happened. "Youve got to go out there and win at that point, figure out how to do it." Logano still got the victory, just in a more exciting fashion. He passed Jeff Gordon on the last of 340 laps after a green-white-checkered finish in the Sprint Cup series version of overtime. When Kurt Busch slammed into the wall, spewing debris on the track, Loganos 2.2-second lead over teammate Brad Keselowski was gone and he didnt get to take the white flag that would have guaranteed no extra laps. On the ensuing pit stop, Gordon took only two tires and exited first. Both Team Penske drivers took four tires, and Logano got a splash of fuel. But Keselowski missed a chance to become this seasons first two-time winner when he was penalized for speeding on pit road and finished 15th. "I was just trying to get a little too much on pit road," Keselowski said. "Were in it for wins. Were not in it for second. Second or 15th is the same for us." The 23-year-old Logano got his fourth career victory, and Jeff Gordon took over the series point lead from Dale Earnhardt Jr., who had an early crash. "He crossed over and got into the back of me pretty good," Gordon said of the last lap with Logano. "At that point, I was just thinking, I just want to finish. Looked out my mirror, those guys were racing hard behind me. A great, great second-place finish for me." Here are five other things that happened in the rain-delayed race at Texas: 7 WINNERS FOR 7 RACES: Logano became the seventh different winner in as many Sprint Cup races this season, when new rules for the championship Chase put an increased emphasis on winning. Team Penske joined Stewart-Haas Racing as the only teams with multiple winners this season. JUNIORS MISTAKE: Earnhardt finished last for the first time in seven seasons with an early mistake that also made aa long day for Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson. Cheap Nike Shoes. Only 13 laps into the race, Earnhardt drove his No. 88 Chevrolet halfway into the rain-saturated infield grass before it shot across the track and slammed into the wall in a fiery crash. Debris and mud from that damaged Johnsons windshield and front left side. "It was kind of surreal what happened," said Johnson, who later had a right rear tire issue and finished 25th. Earnhardt tweeted: "That wasnt fun. Sorry 2 the fans of the 88 team. Feel bad for my guys and the 48 team also. Made a mistake there that was costly for every1." The last time Earnhardt finished 43rd was the 2007 fall race at Phoenix -- a span of 222 races. HARVICKS BLOWN ENGINE: Kevin Harvick has finished 36th or worse in four of the five races since winning at Phoenix the second week of the season. He started third at Texas, but completed only 28 laps because of a blown engine right after a restart and wound up 42nd. "Its frustrating. I dont know what else I can say," Harvick said. "I didnt get any indication that anything was going wrong." FLAPPIN IN THE WIND: The race started with 10 caution laps to make sure the 1 1/2-mile high-banked track was ready for racing after being postponed Sunday by rain. There were jet dryers on the track during those laps, and the high-pressure air from those affected the hood and roof flaps on several cars. Keselowski made four trips down pit road after his hood popped up and his crew made repairs. "It was one of those freak deals," Keselowski said. Gordon said one of the jet dryers "about blew all of us over." NASCAR put all the cars in their original starting spots. "Im not sure whats more odd, if that happened or NASCAR allowed those guys to repair that thing," Gordon said. "Had a piece of concrete fly through my car once at Martinsville. I dont ever remember them letting me repair the car." STEWART LEADING: Tony Stewart was the polesitter and led laps for the first time season, and not only the first 10 laps during that competition caution to start the race. He 74 of the first 76 laps, and went on to a 10th-place finish. Those also made him the career leader for laps led at Texas Motor Speedway with 801. ' ' '
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