Habs Beat Winnipeg Jets 5-4 in OT
WINNIPEG, MB. — There is never a good time to get a bad penalty.
Saturday night in front of a full house – at least half of them wearing Montreal Canadiens jerseys – the visiting Habs got an overtime power play goal from Max Pacioretty to beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-4.
The Jets a 4-2 lead with 12 minutes to play, blew it and then lost in OT when Tyler Myers was handed a cross-checking penalty. After Pacioretty scored the winner at 3:07, the Jets Dustin Byfuglien was given a 10-minute misconduct for telling referees Trevor Hanson and Ghislain Hebert exactly what he thought of their involvement in the outcome.
“We had a couple of chances to clear that puck, get her down, we didn’t get to it,” said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. “I’m responsible for our group. We weren’t real good tonight, our goalie was great, got us a point. We weren’t real quick. As far as the refs … there were lots of stuff we didn’t like. We weren’t looking for explanations from them as far as the calls they made.”
Maurice was being polite. He was pissed. He believed there was interference on the winning goal and on Montreal’s second goal, Andrew Shaw knocked the puck out of Connor Hellebuyck’s glove and scored his second of the night. Should have been a glove pass, but wasn’t reviewed.
Still, on goals by Patrik Laine (6), Andrew Copp (2), Nilkolaj Ehlers (8) and Blake Wheeler (5), the Jets had a 4-2 lead with 12 minutes to go and were getting a marvelous goaltending performance from Hellebuyck.
But Tomas Plekanec scored at 8:17 of the third and then Jeff Petry tied it at 15:16 and Montreal had taken control.
Of course, it wasn’t as if they didn’t have control of the game anyway. As Maurice said afterward, the Canadiens played with speed and shot the puck from everywhere.
“They were great,” said Wheeler. “They were all over the puck. They have a smaller team, but they’re incredibly quick. They’re on every puck. They’re a desperate group over there trying to get their season turned around.”
The Canadiens outshot the Jets 50-23 – 17-8 in the first, 16-4 in the second, 13-8 in the third and 4-3 in overtime. Despite the OT loss, Hellebuyck, the game’s second star, is now 7-0-2 on the season. He has a 2.24 goals against average and a .932 save percentage.
With the loss, the Jets fell to 7-3-3 on the season, second in the Central Division, six points behind first-place St. Louis.
The Jets play again on Monday night in Dallas. Game time is 7:30 p.m. on TSN 3. It’s the first of a three-game road trip that will take the Jets through Dallas, Las Vegas (Friday) and Arizona (Saturday).
—Scott Taylor, MyToba News
Photo – James Carey Lauder, MyToba Sports