By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets managed to weather the storm as the Montreal Canadiens unloaded a barrage of shots. And then it took the Jets just 36 seconds in overtime to end the game.
Paul Stastny’s overtime goal clinched Winnipeg’s 2-1 victory over Montreal, extending the Jets’ winning streak to four games.
“I think overtime is a crapshoot, especially three-on-three, right? So, you might as well just go out there and play aggressive,” Stastny said.
Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg (13-6-1). The Jets were victorious despite being outshot 41-21. Connor Hellebuyck made 40 saves in the winning effort at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg.
“I was able to get into a good flow. I thought the guys in front of me blocked a lot of key shots tonight and really controlled where the shots were coming from. Not only that, but we were controlling the rebounds. I think the whole team’s defence was very solid down our middle tonight,” Hellebuyck said after the game.
Nick Suzuki scored for Montreal (9-6-5) while goaltender Jake Allen made 19 saves in the loss.
Montreal’s winless streak is now at five games. The streak includes back-to-back losses to the Jets. Montreal held a 3-1 lead on Winnipeg Thursday night before the Jets scored five unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 win.
Despite the loss, Suzuki says head coach Dominique Ducharme told the team they were heading in the right direction and that they deserved better Saturday night.
“I thought we played a great game. Outshot them a lot, had a lot of chances. Just didn’t come out on the right side of the scoreboard,” Suzuki said.
Ducharme is still looking for his first NHL win as head coach. The Quebecer was named interim head coach Wednesday after the Canadiens fired Claude Julien and associate head coach Kirk Muller.
Saturday night’s affair saw both teams fail to score in the opening period. Montreal, however, doubled Winnipeg’s shot total, leading 14-7.
Neither team took a penalty until the second period when each had a pair of minors, with Jeff Petry serving time for both of Montreal’s infractions.
As Petry sat in the box for his second penalty, Ehlers opened the scoring with a power play goal. Jets forward Andrew Copp won a faceoff in the offensive zone and flicked the puck behind him. Ehlers was first to it, sniping it past Allen for his 11th of the season.
Suzuki replied with his fifth of the season almost five minutes later. The goal was assisted by Joel Armia and Ben Chiarot. The forward, while standing to the goalie’s left, banked the puck off of Hellebuyck and into the net. Hellebuyck had covered the left post, but the puck still beat him.
“It was one of those goals that you could do 99 out of 100 (times) it’s not going to go in. I got caught on the one which seems to be a theme this year.” Hellebuyck said.
The Canadiens and Jets remained deadlocked in the third, but it was Montreal that applied most of the pressure. The Canadiens outshot the Jets in every period, including the third where they led 14-2.
As the game headed into overtime it took Stastny only 36 seconds to get the puck past Allen and give the Jets the win. Ehlers fired a shot on net that was trickling towards the goal line after it beat Allen, and Stastny then pushed it in.