Dustin Byfuglien's overtime goal lifts Jets over Wild 2-1
Feb. 11, 2015
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Dustin Byfuglien made a game-winning play that had everyone talking Tuesday night.
Byfuglien scored 4 minutes into overtime and the Winnipeg Jets ended the Minnesota Wild's six-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory.
Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon turned the puck over in the Winnipeg end and Byfuglien grabbed the loose puck and skated down the boards alone. As Wild defenseman Ryan Suter started coming across toward him, Byfuglien ripped a shot over goalie Devan Dubnyk's blocker.
Jets coach Paul Maurice called it a "spectacular" goal.
"You've got to take a look at that goal and where he got that shot off from. I'm just not sure how many guys can do that," Maurice said.
Toby Enstrom scored in regulation and Michael Hutchinson stopped 29 shots for Winnipeg, which has won back-to-back games.
Jason Pominville scored for the Wild, who got 32 saves from Dubnyk.
"I knew my guy was down, and in a 4-on-4 it's a man-on-man type of thing," Byfuglien said. "I knew I was going to have room and I just had my head up and (saw) the shot."
Spurgeon blamed himself for the giveaway.
"It was a horrible play by me," he said. "I saw Mikko (Koivu) there and obviously didn't put it hard enough and (Byfuglien) read my pass, chipped it out and made a nice shot. I let the team down."
Dubnyk said Byfuglien has a "dangerous shot."
"When I see him coming down, I want to make sure I get out on him because he can tee it up, too," he said. "When he got in tight, I thought he was going to take it to the net and go to his backhand. I flattened out a little bit and he kind of flicked his wrists over and made a pretty nice shot, so you've got to give it to him."
Byfuglien's talents and versatility have been on display all season.
He started off as a forward, but got to play 26 games at his preferred defensive spot from Dec. 5 to Feb. 2 after the Jets were hit by injuries along the blue line.
Four games ago, Byfuglien was moved back to forward after Evander Kane was scratched and then had shoulder surgery last weekend.
With a smile, Maurice said Byfuglien was playing defense "at the time he scored the goal, so he wants that on the record."
After two scoreless periods, the Jets got on the board with Enstrom's third goal of the season at 7:53. Enstrom's shot from the point was tipped in past Dubnyk by Minnesota wing Nino Niederreiter.
Pominville tied it just more than two minutes later when teammate Zach Parise created a turnover in front of the Winnipeg net and Pominville fired his shot past Hutchinson at 10:22.
Winnipeg opened the game swarming around the Minnesota net, with the Wild blocking some shots and Dubnyk making a couple of sharp saves as the puck bounced around in front of him.
Minnesota didn't get its first shot on goal until 6:41 of the first period, when the gap became 10-1 in Winnipeg's favor. The period ended with the Jets outshooting their Central Division rivals 15-8.
Both goalies made some key stops in the second period, with Hutchinson kept busy as the Wild upped their shots on goal to close Winnipeg's edge 24-21.
Winnipeg had its fourth power play of the game early in the third, but Mathieu Perreault's shot clanged off the post.
The Wild went on their third power play of the game and couldn't capitalize, and the Jets came back at even strength for Enstrom's goal.
Perreault's assist extended his points streak to three games with one goal and four assists.
Pominville's unassisted goal was his 11th of the season. He also had a goal in Minnesota's 5-3 win over Vancouver on Monday after going 12 games without one.
Niederreiter hit the crossbar with 2:53 left.
Suter slid on his knees to block Perreault's pass attempt near Minnesota's goal during overtime.
NOTES: The Jets head on the road to play two division rivals this week, starting with Nashville on Thursday and Dallas on Saturday. ... The Wild host Florida on Thursday and Carolina on Saturday.