WINNIPEG – It took an extra long review by the officials but in the end the Jets got their goal, the victory, and a big two points. Mark Scheifele scored a disputed game winner in overtime to give the Jets a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday at MTS Centre. The dispute was over whether or not the play was offside. But the goal was eventually upheld after a lengthy review of the replay.
“It’s definitely a mood killer.” Scheifele said. “I was pretty jacked up and then I see them challenge it and then they’re looking at it forever so it definitely kills the mood a little bit, but all in all it’s two points.”
Andrew Ladd scored the Jets only other goal while Nicklas Backstrom answered for the Capitals as the loss ended the Caps six game win streak.
Rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was once again impressive for the Jets. He stopped 37 of 38 shots for his third NHL victory in only his third NHL start. He’s allowed just one goal in each of those starts.
“The first game that he saw some real strong shooters on him” head coach Paul Maurice said. “And he consistently looks big in the net you know. He’s had a good progression here to this game. He got lots of support in his first game, saw more pucks in the second game and had a little bit more pucks and high end skill tonight.”
It was a busy afternoon for both goaltenders as Hellebuyck outplayed Braden Holtby who made 34 saves for the Capitals.
“I definitely enjoyed the battle tonight.” Hellebuyck said. “But I definitely don’t see it as a goalie rivalry or anything like that. I just go out and play my own game.”
After a November not to remember, it’s now two straight wins for the Jets to start off the month of December.
“I thought we stuck with the way we need to play throughout the whole, the full 60 minutes.” Ladd said. “You grind it to overtime and obviously a big goal from Schifes (Scheifele) so a lot of positives we can take from playing in a tight game like that.”
Midway through the opening period Alex Ovechkin skated down the wing into the Jets zone and he ripped a wrist shot off the goal post behind Hellebuyck.
The Jets had a 5-on-3 powerplay soon afterwards but failed to capitalize with the 2-man advantage.
Tempers flared near the end of the first period after Michael Latta hit Scheifele in a vulnerable position at the blueline. Latta and Jacob Trouba squared off at centre ice and both received five minute major penalties for fighting.
When the dust cleared the Jets ended up with the powerplay and with 6.3 seconds remaining in the first, Ladd picked the corner with a one-timer for his eighth goal of the season. Bryan Little and Dustin Byfuglien had the assists for Winnipeg. The Jets had a one nothing lead after outshooting the Capitals 17-6 in the first period.
In the latter stages of the second period Anthony Peluso was hit with a two minute minor penalty for roughing. Just 12 seconds into the man advantage Backstrom fired a shot past Hellebuyck for a powerplay goal and it was 1-1. The Caps controlled much of the play in the middle frame as they outshot the Jets 13-8.
There was no scoring in the third period and then with just 20 seconds left in overtime Scheifele snapped in a pass from Jacob Trouba for his first game winning goal of the season.
Joel Armia, Paul Postma and Adam Pardy were all scratched. The Jets will play Sunday afternoon in Chicago before returning home to host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.