Center Mark Scheifele scored with less than a minute left in overtime giving the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Jets, who overcame a one goal deficit three times in the game, won their fifth straight overall, while the loss by the Lightning snapped their eight game-winning streak.
Both teams entered the game playing well, with Tampa Bay having won eight straight games while Winnipeg nearly matched that, with an 8-1 record in their last 9 games. And the first 10 minutes of the game played that way with both teams having opportunities to gain the other's zone. But both Andrei Vasilevskiy & Jets goalie Connor Hellebyck were able to keep zeroes on the scoreboard. That is until defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was in the penalty box for a slash on Lightning forward Yanni Gourde.
After a puck clearing into his zone, Vasilevskiy was able to get a lead pass to forward Ondrej Pallat, who then hit found Alex Killorn, streaking up the left-side & the Lightning forward buried the puck for his eighth goal. The goal by Killorn was the Lightning's league-leading 35th power play goal. But with just under three minutes left in the period, Lightning forward Ryan Callahan was called for a delay of game penalty.
With Callahan in the box, it appeared the Lightning would end the first 20 minutes with the 1-0 lead. But with just 17 secs left in the period, the Jets tied the score at one with a goal from forward Mathieu Perreault, ending the Lightning string of 17 straight successful penalty kills.
The first period ended with the teams playing an almost totally equal first 20 minutes with Winnipeg outshooting Tampa Bay by just one. And that shot advantage became a lead advantage in the second period when, despite some strong netminding from Vasilevskiy, the Jets grabbed the lead on a goal from forward Brandon Tanev. However that lead lasted all of 37 seconds because the Lightning tied the game on a goal by center Steven Stamkos, from a feed again by Palat.
With both teams looking to score that third goal, both goalies were put to the test again. But it was Tampa Bay who got their third goal first, when center Tyler Johnson grabbed the puck out of a scramble in front of the net & was able to shoot the puck high past Hellebyck. But just like when they trailed 1-0, the Jets scored again in the last minute of the period, tying the score at three on a goal by forward Nikolaj Ehlers.
The teams entered the final 20 minutes of the game with Tampa Bay leading by one in scoring chances. And after Winnipeg took a minor bench penalty for too many men on the ice, they grabbed another one goal lead on a power play goal by forward Nikita Kucherov, his 14th goal of the year.
The next six minutes were a see-saw battle but for the third time in the game, Winnipeg erased a one goal lead, this time on Ehlers' second goal of the game, coming from a rebound off the boards. And although both teams had quality chances in the final five minutes of regulation, the third period ended tied at three.
In overtime, each team had the puck deep inside the offensive one but it was the Jets who turned a giveaway by Brayden Point, into a scoring chance. The Lightning center attempted a pass to Kucherov but that puck was stopped by Byfuglien. And after the puck was lost by forward Patrick Laine, Scheifele was able to grab the puck in front of the Lightning net, waited momentarily then snapped a shot past Vasilevskiy to give the Jets their fifth straight win.
Tampa Bay will look to start a new streak on Tuesday when they play the Vancouver Canucks in their second game of a four game road trip. Pregame coverage on 970 WFLA begins at 9:30pm with the puck drop scheduled for 10pm.
1. TBL- PPG- Killorn 8th goal (Vasilevskiy, Pallat)- 13:01
2. WPG- PPG- Perrault 7th goal (Myers, Ehlers)- 19:43
1. WPG- Tanev 7th goal (Lowry, Morrissey)- 8:36
2. TBL- Stamkos 16th goal (Palat)- 9:13
3. TBL- Johnson 14th goal (Point, Sergachev)- 18:09
4. WPG- Ehlers 11th goal (Scheifele, Wheeler)- 19:19
1. TBL- PPG- Kucherov 14th goal (Stamkos, Point)- 6:55
2. WPG- Ehlers 12th goal (Scheifele, Byfuglien)- 14:23
1. WPG- Sheifele 21st goal (Unassisted)- 4:18
1. WPG- Byfuglien (Slashing 2 mins)- 11:09
2. TBL- Callahan (Delay Of Game-Puck Over The Glass)- 17:56
1. WPG- Bench (Too Many Men On The Ice)- 6:04