The Winnipeg Jets were looking for a measure of redemption in their second meeting with the Florida Panthers in a week and were on the right track to finding just that after putting up two goals in the first period. But then the Panthers started to fight back and eventually had the score evened up at two with about six minutes played in the third. In the end, it would take some last-minute overtime heroics from Dustin Byfuglien to take away the 3-2 win and prevent a shootout situation.
Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler were the ones to put Winnipeg up two to nothing in the first–Ladd’s goal involved him quite literally crashing Jacob Markstrom‘s net while Wheeler’s was a little more peacefully scored from inside the circle. But Jonathan Huberdeau, the rookie who has been a beast against Winnipeg so far this season and has recorded a goal in every single game against the Jets, did it again.
After playing a scoreless second in which the Jets were outshot and had to kill two penalties, but still managed to hold on to that 2-1 win, they were probably starting to think about a 2-1 win when Shawn Matthias took advantage of a turnover by Grant Clitsome to tie it. Winnipeg was intensely out-shot, but managed to hold on to that 2-2 score through the end of regulation.
But Byfuglien’s overtime goal to prevent a shootout was a thing of beauty–he eluded at least two Panthers, got into position and wham! Check it out here.
This is his first game-winning goal of the season, though he had three last year.
So Winnipeg leaves the Sunshine State with two out of three possible wins. Still, the fact that the Jets were out-shot by a total of 40 to 28 shots throughout the game shows that the team needs to just keep crashing the net–although preferably not actually, physically crashing the net like Ladd did–and getting good chances to try to build and subsequently keep a lead.
The still-struggling New Jersey Devils are up next for the Jets on March 10 and are the last stop on their road trip.