The legs were shot but the will was strong as Mark Scheifele notched the overtime winner for the Winnipeg Jets over the New Jersey Devils.
“I was pretty exhausted at the time so I just wanted to get a shot off and was happy the rebound came to me,” Scheifele said. “We didn’t want to let our lead slip away, but we did get the win and we’re happy with that.”
It was the second goal of the game for Scheifele, coming at 4:43 in overtime to cap a back-and-forth 4-3 victory on Saturday.
The Jets had taken a 3-1 lead in the third period only to have the Devils battle back with two goals inside the final five minutes.
“Emotion is the right word,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “Lots of emotion on our bench, and we overcame a number of obstacles. I really like the way we played the third period.”
When Scheifele tucked his own rebound past Keith Kinkaid, the Jets finished off their second straight win and improved to 3-3-0 over their past six games.
Josh Morrissey and Andrew Copp also scored for the Jets. Laurent Brossoit made 36 saves.
Marcus Johansson, Jesper Bratt and Taylor Hall scored for New Jersey, which has lost five straight. Kinkaid stopped 34 shots.
In overtime, the Devils failed to convert a two-man breakaway as Brossoit stopped Hall, who was set up by Nico Hischier.
The Jets continued their mastery of the Devils. It was their sixth straight win over New Jersey, improving to 12-1-2 in the last 15 meetings.
The Devils, coming off a loss to Washington on Friday night, rallied late in the third period to tie it. Bratt scored on a power play at 15:41, and with Kinkaid on the bench for an extra attacker, the Devils swarmed the net, and Hall poked in the equalizer on a goal-mouth scramble with just under two minutes left.
The Jets challenged and lost a goaltender interference appeal.
Johansson scored the only goal of the opening period at 6:45, thanks to a fortunate bounce. His initial shot was blocked by Jets defenceman Ben Chiarot and the puck came right back to him. Johansson netted the second try to extend his goal-scoring streak to two games.
Scheifele evened the score with the lone tally of the second period at 4:25, firing a quick shot from the left faceoff dot following a sharp pass from Blake Wheeler.
Both Scheifele and Wheeler extended their point-scoring steaks to four.
The Jets stepped up their game in the third and came close when Adam Lowry hit the crossbar with 12 minutes left.
About a minute later, Patrik Laine, the NHL’s top goal scorer, hit the post, and the Jets were again denied.
The pressure finally paid off when Morrissey beat Kinkaid from the slot at 10:32, giving the Jets the lead for the first time with his second goal of the season.
Copp increased the Jets’ lead to 3-1 at 13:21.
Despite earning a point, New Jersey dropped into sole possession of last place in the Eastern Conference.
“I really liked the way our team played tonight,” coach John Hynes said. “Even though we got down when we gave up a couple of goals in the third. To get two goals in under five minutes in the third, we worked our way into a point.”
The Devils fell to 0-5 in overtime.
“You see the other teams getting high-quality chances,” Kinkaid said of New Jersey’s overtime struggles. “Maybe we just need to capitalize on the shots that we have. You see other teams are bringing it. When we had the opportunity, we needed to shoot. That’s the difference.”