Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves, while Mark Scheifele scored the winner 21 seconds into the extra frame Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg’s 3-2 overtime victory over the Central Division’s Dallas Stars at Bell MTS Place.
The Stars arrived in Winnipeg fresh off a four-game regulation winning streak, while having picked up wins in seven of their last eight games. That record changed Sunday as the Jets completed a come-from-behind win to help improve Winnipeg to 10-7-1 on the season.
The Jets took the majority of the first period off, only recording their second (and third) shots of the game with five minutes to play. If it weren’t for a late-period man advantage, Winnipeg’s offence would have been a total wash.
With Jamie Benn in the box for interference the Jets’ power play went to work. Blake Wheeler found Neal Pionk at the point with an indirect bank pass off the sideboards. Pionk faked a one-time clapper, and dished the disc over to Patrik Laine. The snakebitten sniper hammered his fourth of the season past Anton Khudobin from the point, high glove side. The goal was Laine’s first since October 10.
Despite the Stars holding the majority of the possession numbers through 20 minutes, Winnipeg led Dallas 7-5 in shots on goal after the first period. The second stanza told a different story, however, as the Stars took back the shot lead, finishing the second with a 17-13 shot lead, taking 12 shots in the frame, as opposed to Winnipeg’s five shots on goal.
Dallas also took back the lead In the middle period, finding goals from Mattias Janmark and Radek Faksa one two plays in which the Stars outmuscled the Jets’ defencemen behind Winnipeg’s goal.
With 14:38 to play in the second, Neal Pionk was checked off the puck by Jason Dickinson, who found a wide-open Janmark, who collected his second of the season from the low slot. Then, just five minutes later, Dmitry Kulikov lost his positioning while protecting the puck in the corner, and Dallas capitalized as Radek Faksa redirected a point shot past Connor Hellebuyck. Winnipeg’s closest scoring opportunity of the frame came just minutes in, as Josh Morrissey rang a point shot of the iron past Khudobin.
Less than two minutes into the third period, Tucker Poolman drove the puck up the ice before firing a low shot off Khudobin’s pad, which rebounded directly to forward Andrew Copp, who found himself in the right place at the right time and buried his third of the season. What goes around, comes around, as Adam Lowry picked up the secondary assist on Copp’s third-period marker Sunday. Lowry earlier provided his linemate Copp with an assist on his empty net strike Friday evening in the Jets’ 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
Copp’s strike was the only goal of a highly offensive third period. The Jets powered back with 15 shots in the third period, tying the shot total at 28 through 60 minutes of play. Sunday’s game was determined in overtime.
Mark Scheifele won it for Winnipeg just 21 seconds into the extra frame. The star forward’s seventh of the season came after carrying the puck into the Dallas zone and firing it past Khudobin low glove side for the 3-2 victory on Winnipeg’s 29th shot of the game.
Hellebuyck – who is now 5-3-1 with a phenomenal goals against average and save percentage in his last nine games made 26 saves in the victory, while Khudobin managed 26 stops on 29 shots. Sunday’s game was just Dallas’ second regulation lost in their last nine games.
The Jets will close out their four-game homestand on Tuesday with another Central Division matchup, as the Colorado Avalanche travel to Manitoba for the first matchup between the two teams in 2019-20. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM central. The game can be viewed live on TSN3.