RALEIGH, N.C. -- If it was an emotional day for the Winnipeg Jets, it proved to be a frustrating one for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Jets, scoring three times during the third period, outlasted the Canes, 4-3, on Thursday night at PNC Arena in a Southeast Division game that seemingly had the momentum swinging every few shifts.
Blake Wheeler scored the winner for the Jets with 4 minutes, 54?seconds left. It was Wheeler's second goal of the game, capping a torrid minute-plus of action that had the crowd of 18,282 roaring.
Within 63 seconds, Andrew Ladd pushed the Jets ahead 3-2, Jiri Tlusty tied it for the Hurricanes with his second of the game and then Wheeler struck. Boom, boom, boom. It was just that fast and furious after two grinding periods of hockey.
Canes goalie Cam Ward had a tough night -- that after a slightly nightmarish start Monday in a 3-0 loss in Montreal. Ladd's goal, in the Jets captain's 500th NHL game, came when Ward muffed the puck trying to glove it, then missed swiping it.
Wheeler's first goal came on a long shot from the right wing that nicked the stick of Canes defenseman Jay Harrison. On his second, Carolina defenseman Joe Corvo slipped.
Evander Kane scored early in the third for the Jets, his shot from the right wing appearing to glance off of Corvo.
"We had an opportunity to win, we felt, and we played well enough to win," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "When you play a divisional game you want to pick up points somehow and we didn't do that. It's unfortunate."
So was a freak injury suffered by a member of the Jets (7-8-1) earlier in the day. Late in their morning skate, rookie defenseman Zach Redmond was cut by the skate of a teammate.
Redmond, 24, suffered a laceration of a femoral artery. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital and had three hours of surgery.
"It was a tough day for the players," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "The guys couldn't stop thinking about it and it certainly had a lot of effect on the guys' play."
The Canes faced a more routine form of adversity. Winger Jeff Skinner missed his second game with concussion issues. Defensemen Tim Gleason, Joni Pitkanen and Jamie McBain all are out with injuries along with center Tim Brent.
"It's definitely tough. We have a few big guys out of the lineup," Tlusty said. "But if want to be a strong team we have to win games without them."
The Hurricanes recalled defenseman Ryan Murphy, their first-round draft pick in 2011, from the Ontario Hockey League. Murphy, in his NHL debut, played almost 24 minutes and earned praise from Muller.
Jordan Staal scored his third goal of the season for the Canes, tying the score at 2. Tlusty's first goal, late in the opening period, came off a spectacular behind-the-back pass from Alexander Semin, the puck zipping through the legs of Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian.
"He made a great move," Tlusty said. "It's easy for me to put it in."
The Canes, limited to 19 shots in Monday's shutout loss, had 30 against the Jets and goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
On Tlusty's second goal, he came off the bench on a line change, jumped into the play and rifled a shot from the slot.
"They capitalized on a couple of lucky breaks and it cost us the game," Tlusty said.
It's possible Pitkanen, out the past three games, could be available Saturday against Tampa Bay. Muller also has to evaluate the goaltending.
"I think (Ward) was hoping to come back with a big game (after) the last game in Montreal," Muller said. "We win as a team and lose as a team and we just didn't close the door at the end as a group. At the end of the day it's just no excuses. Everyone has a job to do and we have to get it done."
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