Who says you can’t go home again ?
The Winnipeg Jets had four goals from Quebec born players scoring in their home province, as they knocked off the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on Thursday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Paul Stastny scored twice and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his second OT winner since joining the team to propel the Jets to their sixth win in their last seven games to kick off a five-game road trip.
“I think any game winner, whether it’s here or anywhere else is special,” said Dubois. “I have a lot of friends and family that watch the game. Obviously if there wasn’t COVID they would have been here tonight. Probably would have been a little bit more fun, more special, but a win is a win, two points is two points, especially in this division where it feels like a lot of teams are close.”
Mathieu Perreault had the other Jets’ marker.
With the victory, the Jets tighten their grip on second place, moving three points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.
The Jets are now 5-0 in games that ended in overtime this season.
“We got so much skill,” Perreault said. “You get these guys out there with the speed and the skill they have, they can just create chances. You seen it tonight again. We had a ton of chances and we finally found a way to put them in, so it’s a big two points for us.”
The Jets might have played their best first period of the season, roaring out to an early two-goal lead. But the Canadiens turned the tables on the Jets in the second period where they battled back to tie up the game. The Canadiens outshot the Jets 13-5 in the middle period.
“Really liked our first period,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “It’s as good a period as we’ve played in Montreal in a long time. And then I think the second period we recognized that, like, we did it to ourselves in a lot of it.
“We cracked three posts and have two or three other really, really good chances. So, I was pleased with the pushback, and our ability to kinda right the ship as much as we could.”
“The first period we dominated, the second period they dominated. The third period was pretty back and forth.” said Stastny. “They score a late goal, but sometimes they score late goals – that’s fine when you’re playing against good players and they’re hungry and make nice goals. Something, you kinda enjoy the point, and you play for the win. I think when you get that far, you can’t get too frustrated, you try and forget about it as quick as you can.”
The Jets moved to 15-7-1 on the season to sit seven points behind the first place Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL’s North Division.
Jets defenceman Derek Forbort set a new single-game franchise record for blocked shots with 11.
Winnipeg got off to a hot start and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to goals from Stastny and Perreault.
The Habs battled back in the second, getting goals from Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli to tie the score heading into the third.
Stastny struck again in the final frame, roofing one from in tight over Habs goalie Jake Allen’s shoulder, but the Habs were able to tie it again late with the goalie pulled on a deflection from Corey Perry to force overtime.
Dubois’ heroics came with just 31 seconds left in the extra frame.
The only change for the Jets from their last game was in goal where Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves.
The shots finished at 36-27 in favour of Montreal.
The Jets and the Habs meet again on Saturday night. The pregame show begins on 680 CJOB at 4 p.m., with the puck dropping shortly after 6 p.m.
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