WINNIPEG – Mark Scheifele’s first-career hat trick elevated the Winnipeg Jets over the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 Saturday night in a see-saw matchup.
Scheifele’s empty-netter late in the third completing the trio after giving the Jets 1-0 and 3-2 leads and snapping Winnipeg’s (27-32-5) six-game home winless streak. Rookie Andrew Copp had his third goal of the season.
Alex Galchenyuk scored twice for Montreal (30-30-6) to bring his season total to a new career mark of 21. The Canadiens dropped their fourth straight game to finish their current western road swing winless.
Scheifele opened the scoring 4:10 in the second period, catching Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban at the end of a power-play shift that lasted 2:19. Inside the Montreal zone, Scheifele stole the puck from Subban and broke in all alone before beating goaltender Mike Condon with a quick backhand finish.
The 22-year-old Scheifele adds on his career-high season goal total with his 18th, 19th, and 20th of the season as the third-year NHLer continues to heat up. Serving as Winnipeg’s No. 1 centre since Bryan Little fractured a vertebrae, Scheifele now has seven goals and five assists over his last eight games.
The Canadiens tied the game just 1:13 later. Max Pacioretty made a backhand between-the-legs pass to Galchenyuk in the slot whose one-timer beat Ondrej Pavelec to make it 1-1.
Winnipeg took the lead again at 5:57 of the third when a Ben Chiarot point shot was deflected by Copp.
Galchenyuk scored for a second time midway through the third, deflecting a Greg Pateryn point shot to tie the game 2-2.
Scheifele’s winner came at 13:01 of the third before completing the hat tricks with 29 seconds remaining in the third.