Winnipeg Jets rally from two down to beat Anaheim Ducks in OT

By David Larkins, The Sports Xchange  |  March 31, 2017 at 1:49 AM
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- For one night, at least, the Duck dynasty was put on hiatus.

Dustin Byfuglien tied the game with 12 seconds left in regulation and set up Mark Scheifele for the overtime winner as the Winnipeg Jets rallied from two goals down to beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 Thursday night in a thriller at MTS Centre.

The win over Anaheim was a rarity for Winnipeg, which had lost eight of the last nine meetings between the teams, and was swept in the first round of the 2014-15 playoffs, the last and only time the Jets have made the postseason since returning to the league in 2011.

Scheifele one-timed a pass from Byfuglien with 1:26 left in overtime and beat Jonathan Bernier, as the Jets (36-35-7) overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit to extend their winning streak to three.

"There's still things to play for," Scheifele said after scoring his 30th goal of the season, a career high. "Obviously, the playoffs are out of reach but there's still a lot of things to fight for. Guys fight for jobs, guys showing what they're made of and they definitely showed it tonight."

Corey Perry scored a pair of goals for the Ducks (42-23-12), who lost to Winnipeg for just the third time in the past three years and saw their overall win streak snapped at five.

"We sat on our heels. We haven't done that in a long time," Perry said. "We've continued to go after teams and push. There's probably too many turnovers tonight and it fueled their offense."

First-place Anaheim saw its Pacific Division lead slip to one point over the Edmonton Oilers, who beat the third-place San Jose Sharks 3-2 Thursday. The Sharks are three points back of the Ducks.

The Jets also got a third-period goal from Blake Wheeler to cut the deficit to one, and Byfuglien stormed his way to the crease and shoved a loose puck past Bernier to force overtime.

Byfuglien's goal, his 13th of the season, pushed him past Evander Kane for sixth in goals in franchise history.

Nikolaj Ehlers, who drew assists on both the Wheeler and Byfuglien goals, said the Jets managed to find another gear in the second intermission.

"We decided to not just quit," Ehlers said. "We wanted to keep going and get the two points, no matter that. We worked our asses off, those last 20 minutes. It feels good now."

Jakob Silfverberg opened the scoring for Anaheim 8:17 into the first period. Silfverberg took a puck off the left boards, took a couple strides inside and wired a wrist shot over Michael Hutchinson's shoulder for his 22nd goal of the season.

The Jets tied the game with a greasy short-handed goal a few minutes later. Joel Armia chased a loose puck into the Anaheim zone and won the puck battle in the corner. He emerged to Bernier's right and limply wristed a shot through Bernier's legs with 8:06 to go in the opening frame.

The Ducks regained the lead when Perry collected a rebound in front of the Jets' net and deposited his 17th goal of the season, with 1:04 left.

Anaheim extended its lead 7:01 into the second period. With Bryan Little in the penalty box for Winnipeg, Perry slid in from the right boards, toe-dragged around Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey and slid the puck through Hutchinson's legs to make it 3-1.

Bernier made 36 saves in the loss, while Hutchinson stopped 25.

"They came out strong in the third and I think we gave them a few scoring chances that might have given them a little bit of momentum," Bernier said. "At the end of the day we know what to do in the third when we have the lead and we just didn't execute it tonight. We've just got to turn the page now."

NOTES: The Jets scratched D Paul Postma, Toby Enstrom and Ben Chiarot, LW Shawn Matthias, C Marko Dano and G Ondrej Pavelec. ... Scratched for the Ducks were D Korbinian Holzer, C Logan Shaw and RW Ondrej Kase, who was called up from the AHL's San Diego Gulls on Wednesday. ... The Jets announced that Enstrom will miss the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery Thursday morning. ... Winnipeg's Mathieu Perreault spent the 2013-14 season with the Ducks, scoring 43 points in 69 games. In 10 career games against the Ducks, he has five assists. ... Before the game, the Jets loaned D Brian Strait to the AHL Manitoba Moose. ... The Ducks continue their road trip with a game in Edmonton on Saturday. The Jets are home vs. Ottawa the same day.

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