The night was a memorable one for the Jets’ big blueliner, as he became just the 66th defenceman to ever record 500 points in NHL history. The point also made the 6-foot-5, 270-pound defender just the 14th player drafted in the eighth round or later to reach 500 points.
13:15 into the final period of play at Little Caesars Arena Friday night, Byfuglien picked up the puck at the point and drove it hard down the boards, before cutting towards the net, beating fellow American Jimmy Howard with a wrist shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle, giving his team a one-goal lead. That marker proved to be the game-winner, as Winnipeg moved to 7-3-1 on the season with the tight 2-1 victory.
Kyle Connor also scored for Winnipeg, while Laurent Brossoit picked up yet another victory as Winnipeg’s backup Friday evening. Byfuglien’s goal was his second of the season, already having collected his first marker at home against Vancouver on October 18th. Amazingly it took Byfuglien until January 5th against Buffalo to score his first goal in 2017-18 – a total of 30 games.
Byfuglien now has a nice and neat 175 career goals, 325 assists and 500 points in 836 regular season contests for the Chicago Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets. He also has 19 goals and 42 points in 60 postseason games over his 13-year NHL career.