Taking a cue from some NHL players, Wranglers defenseman Jason Jozsa broke out his “snow plow” move on Sunday against Utah.
Tied at 2-2 and facing sudden death in the seventh round of a shootout, Jozsa streaked in from center ice, then slowed down and lifted the puck under the arm of Grizzlies goalie Mike Mole to give Las Vegas a 3-2 victory.
“I tried to come in fast and slow it down a little bit,” Jozsa said. “(Mole) actually did a good job of staying with me. He had a good angle, but I just took a shot and it went in.
“It was a little bit of a snow plow. That’s how they teach you to stop when you’re a little kid. I’ve seen a couple guys in the NHL do it and it seems to work. It helps to pick up hints from those guys.”
The Wranglers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to force overtime and also erased a 2-0 hole in the shootout.
James Sanford and Ryan Kinasewich scored for Utah in the first two rounds of the shootout, but as he did in regulation, Las Vegas goalie Daniel Manzato (14-3-4) settled down and stoned the next five shooters.
Peter Ferraro scored for the Wranglers in the second round and Aki Seitsonen beat Mole in the fourth round to tie it and set the stage for Jozsa.
“Finally Jozsa put an end to the misery here,” Las Vegas coach Glen Gulutzan said. “I don’t think we played very well. We got outworked and outbattled, but we’ve outworked and outbattled teams recently and didn’t get anything from it, so everything evens out.”
The Wranglers (27-8-7), who won their third game in three nights over the Grizzlies (19-19-4), had lost their previous four overtime games and seven of eight that went to overtime or a shootout.
Utah’s Justin Bourne deflected a shot by Jeff Dwyer past Manzato 4:49 into the game, and Tyler Haskins gave the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead at the 8:50 mark.
But Manzato, making his first start in 10 days, held the Grizzlies scoreless the rest of the way and made 30 saves.
“It’s not easy when you’re down 2-0 that early in the game, but mentally you have to be prepared to play 60 minutes,” Manzato said. “The game is never over.”
Adam Cracknell made it 2-1 early in the second period, scoring his 20th of the season on a rifle shot from the point. Aaron Power tied it for Las Vegas 4:56 into the third on a blast from the right circle at the start of a two-man advantage.
The Wranglers went 1-for-9 on the power play and Marco Peluso missed a penalty shot with 3:17 left in the third.
• NOTES — Las Vegas played with 14 skaters because forward Brandon Kaleniecki and defenseman Jason Dest remained out with unspecified injuries and forward Josh Sciba is on the seven-day injured reserve.LAS VEGAS – 3
UTAH – 2
KEY: The Wranglers erased a 2-0 deficit to force overtime, and Jason Jozsa scored in the seventh shootout round.
NEXT: Las Vegas at Phoenix, 6:11 p.m. Wednesday