Jets blow four-goal lead, rally for 5-4 win over Minnesota
WINNIPEG, Man. — The Winnipeg Jets stepped out onto the ice wearing their retro uniforms against the Minnesota Wild and — fittingly — the 1980s broke out.
Defense was largely an afterthought as both teams, particularly the Wild, wheeled as if they were playing shinny on their local outdoor rink, but it was the Jets who were able to recover for a 5-4 victory after blowing a four-goal lead.
Michael Hutchinson relieved Connor Hellebuyck in the Jets net after 40 minutes and stopped 13 shots — including many of the highlight-reel variety — in posting the victory.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk let in four goals on 21 shots.
The Jets (32-33-7) had five different goal scorers. Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, Ben Chiarot, Dustin Byfuglien and Jim Morrissey all lit the lamp for Winnipeg, with Morrissey getting the winner midway through the third period.
Chris Stewart scored twice and Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund once each for the Wild (43-22-6).
The Jets' third line opened the scoring when right winger Joel Armia won a battle along the boards and slid the puck to Lowry. He quickly fed Copp, who ripped a shot over Dubynk's glove hand at 3:47 of the first period. It was Copp's ninth goal of the season and the Jets' first shot on goal in the game.
The Jets doubled their lead less than two minutes later on the power play when Lowry secured a bouncing puck in the slot and snapped home his career-high 13th goal of the season at 5:36. The assists went to wingers Mathieu Perreault and Blake Wheeler.
Chiarot gave the home side a 3-0 lead when his shot ricocheted off Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin's leg and behind Dubnyk at 16:47. The goal was just Chiarot's second of the year.
Byfuglien gave the Jets a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead when he unleashed a wicked backhander for his 12th goal of season just 4:38 into the second period. Wheeler assisted on the play to register the 500th point of his NHL career.
And then the comeback was on.
The Wild broke through when Zach Parise outmuscled Mark Stuart behind the Jets net and fed Coyle, who one-timed his 16th goal of the year over Hellebuyck's blocker at 9:23.
Minnesota cut the deficit to 4-2 on the power play with Copp off on an interference penalty when center Mikko Koivu found Granlund stationed at Hellebuyck's right post to an easy tap-in at 15:08.
Just 23 seconds later, Stewart outmuscled Byfuglien in front of the net and pinballed a shot between Hellebuyck's legs to make the score 4-3 with his 12th goal of the season.
The Wild completed the comeback after pinning the Jets in their own zone for few minutes when Stewart came out from behind the net to Hellebuyck's right and squeezed a shot between his pads at 19:47.