Winnipeg Jets battle back to beat Washington Capitals in overtime
WINNIPEG – After dropping back to back games on home ice the Winnipeg Jets overcame a two goal third period deficit to beat the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Trailing 3-1 in the third period the Jets scored a pair of goals in the final nine minutes of regulation and then completed the comeback in overtime for a 4-3 victory to end the two game slide at Bell MTS Place.
“We just gutted it out you know.” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said.
“It wasn’t pretty at any point in time in the game. I don’t feel like at any point in time they were dominating us. I think at the beginning of the second period we were a little bit slow.”
Mark Scheifele scored twice and added an assist in the win while Mathieu Perreault and Dustin Byfuglien each had two assists. Bryan Little started the comeback in the third period on a nice give-and-go and Tyler Myers scored the overtime winner.
“It’s huge.” Scheifele said. “We had a lot of parts of that game that we didn’t like and to show that resiliency to fight until the buzzer, it shows a lot about this group.”
The Jets appeared to be on their way to a third straight defeat and the Capitals came within a hair of scoring into the empty net to seal the victory. But once again the Jets proved to be resilient with Scheifele tying the game shorthanded with just 15 seconds left.
“We got to a real good emotional level in that game.” head coach Paul Maurice said. “We needed a game like that. That you just didn’t take it, you fought back and then had a good result.”
The Capitals had goals from Nicklas Backstrom, Andre Burakovsky and John Carlson as they picked up at least a point in their fourth consecutive contest.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced while Caps goalie Braden Holtby made 40 stops.
With 5:19 remaining in the first period the Jets opened the scoring. Byfuglien sent the puck in front for Scheifele. The pass was partially blocked but Scheifele was right there to whack the loose puck past Holtby. It was Scheiefle’s first goal since returning from injury and 16th of the season. Toby Enstrom also had an assist and the Jets had a one goal lead.
With just 22.7 seconds left in the period, Backstrom, from the front of the net, swiped the puck past Hellebuyck to tie the game at one apiece. Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson had the assists on Backstrom’s 14th. The shots were 13 aside in the opening 20 minutes.
Just past the 11 minute mark of the middle frame the Capitals took their first lead. Hellebuyck gave up a big rebound and Brakovsky buried the rebound for his fifth goal of the season and the Caps had a 2-1 lead.
The Caps added an insurance marker midway through the third period. Tyler Myers turned the puck over in his own end. Shortly afterwards Evgeny Kuznetsov spotted Carlson and he lifted it past Hellebuyck to put Washington ahead by a pair. Brett Connolly also picked up an assist on Carlson’s 10th goal of the season.
Less than five minutes later Little and Jack Roslovic worked the perfect give and go as Little sent the shot past Holtby for his 12th goal of the campaign. Byfuglien earned his second assist of the night and the Jets were down by only a single goal.
The Jets’ second goal gave them all the momentum and brought the building back to life. With just 15 seconds left on the clock and the Jets shorthanded Scheifele fired in the rebound for the equalizer to send the game to overtime.
Both teams had their chances to win it in the extra frame but midway through the extra period Scheifele set up Myers and he sent the one-timer past Holtby for the game winner.
Capitals defenceman and Winnipeg product Madison Bowey played in his first NHL game in his hometown. He had three shots, one hit and a blocked shot in just under 15 minutes of icetime. Bowey was assessed a two minute minor penalty for interference for a high hit on Matt Hendricks. Hendricks left the game and did not return.
“We don’t have it as a concussion yet.” Maurice said.
The Jets played without injured forwards Adam Lowry, Shawn Matthias and Brandon Tanev. Jacob Trouba, Steve Mason, and Michael Hutchinson also missed the game with injuries. Tucker Poolman, Brendan Lemieux, and Marko Dano were also scratched.
The Jets will hold their skills competition on Wednesday before continuing their 10 game homestand on Friday against the Colorado Avalanche.
WATCH: Winnipeg Jets Post Game Reaction
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