For the second time in less than a week, the Winnipeg Jets have given up a game-winning goal in the final minutes of the third period.
Brady Tkachuk tipped home the game winner for Ottawa with a mere nine seconds left, pushing the Sens past the Jets by a score of 2-1.
Mark Scheifele notched Winnipeg’s lone goal to give the Jets their only lead of the game at the beginning of the second period.
Despite making 29 saves, Connor Hellebuyck dropped a decision to the Ottawa Senators for the first time in his career. He’s now 7-1 all-time when suiting up against Ottawa.
“We had some offence die during the game on some simple plays that we should’ve made to keep the momentum,” said head coach Paul Maurice following the loss.
“We had some good offensive zone shifts that just died when we’re handling the puck at times.”
Marcus Hogberg picked up his first win of the season in the Ottawa net, making 31 saves. Hogberg carried an 0-5 record into Saturday’s contest.
The win marks Ottawa’s third victory of the season, moving the Sens to 3-12-1.
The Jets were missing Pierre-Luc Dubois, who’s listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury.
“They clogged up the slot, they made us work for our ice,” said Scheifele.
“When a team makes it hard on you like that you have to find ways to create offence and we just didn’t do it enough.”
The first period began quietly for both teams with Winnipeg’s best scoring chance coming courtesy of Logan Stanley. Still looking for his first NHL goal, Stanley fired a wrist shot that got deflected in front by a defender before taking a dangerous bounce off goalie Marcus Hogberg.
Hogberg turned away an Andrew Copp backhander from point blank range with less than three minutes on the clock, making eight stops in a scoreless first period.
Winnipeg opened the scoring 5:43 into the middle frame as Mark Scheifele flipped a Kristian Vesalainen pass up and over the left pad of Hogberg.
Scheifele’s sixth goal of the season extents his current point streak to six games.
The home side’s lead wouldn’t last long with a beautiful Colin White pass setting up Evegenii Dadonov’s third goal of the season.
The equalizer came exactly a minute forty-six after the first goal.
With Ottawa’s Nick Paul in the sin bin for hooking Kyle Conner in the midst of a scoring chance, the Jets failed to cash in on their first power play of the afternoon.
Immediately following the unsuccessful power play, a Josh Morrissey wrister got deflected out of harm’s way over the net. But Andrew Copp was there to bring back above the line to throw another backhand chance at Hogberg.
Despite an array of chances at both ends to end the period, the game remained tied at one after forty minutes.
The Jets were outshot by the Sens 12-11 in the middle frame.
Ottawa came out guns a blazing in the final stanza, firing four shots at Hellebuyck in the opening few minutes.
The Sens’ offensive flurry was highlighted by an incredible toe save on a Derek Stepan wrist shot.
Winnipeg’s best chance of the period came with just under fives minutes left. Adam Lowry got robbed by Hogberg as the winless goaltender continued his stellar performance making his 30th save of the afternoon.
With 8.2 seconds left on the clock, Mike Reilly’s point shot was tipped by Brady Tkachuk past Hellebuyck.
Ottawa’s game-winning sequence began with Hellebuyck coming out to play a loose puck in the corner. Connor Brown raced in past Neil Pionk to set up the game winning goal.
“Connor’s got the right to go out and stop that puck so it doesn’t get jammed on the wall,” explained Maurice.
“He thinks Forbort’s coming back to play it so he leaves it, but Forbort’s going to the corner because he think Connor’s going to give it to him. The puck rolled into the trapezoid so (Connor) couldn’t move it after that.”
The nail-biter sees Winnipeg drop to 8-5-1 this season. They lead the season series with Ottawa four games to one.
The Jets hit the road for two games in Edmonton beginning Monday, followed by a pair in Vancouver before the team heads back to Bell MTS Place.
Monday’s game begins at 8 p.m., with the Anchor Products pre-game show on 680 CJOB going live at 6 p.m.