CHICAGO — Mark Scheifele’s hard slapshot beat Chicago goalie Robin Lehner just 47 seconds into overtime as the Winnipeg Jets came back to defeat the Blackhawks 3-2 Saturday night at United Center.
The Jets had trailed 2-1 until about 12 minutes into the third period when Andrew Copp evened the contest. Kyle Connor worked the puck to the front of the net, drew the attention two Blackhawks and dished to Copp, who promptly stuffed it behind Lehner with just 8:16 left in regulation time.
The Jets had a late power-play chance but came up dry.
Blake Wheeler set up Scheifele’s winner in three-on-three OT. The Jets big line had been shut down until the extra session.
Winnipeg has won three straight, upping its record to 4-2-0. The Blackhawks (0-2-1) have yet to win.
The Jets have been working some new wrinkles into their power play but an element that hasn’t changed (does it ever?) is vigorous puck pursuit. Connor let that part of the job description slip on the Blackhawks game-opening goal, coming a not-so-close second in a puck race to Ryan Carpenter along the wall in the Chicago zone and then coasting to catch him. Carpenter drove down on a two-on-one and fed Brandon Saad, who tucked in his first goal of the season behind Hellebuyck just four minutes into the opening frame.
Late in the period, Connor had a short-handed chance of his own but his hard, high drive was blocked by Lehner. Less than a minute later, Brent Seabrook slipped in from the point and buried a rebound off a shot in tight from rookie winger Dominik Kubalik.
By all accounts, Friday’s premature winter blast had little effect on the Jets journey to Chi-Town. Yet, forwards and blue-liners alike looked like they were slogging in sticky, wet snow through 20 minutes. Only Hellebuyck, who made his third consecutive start, earned a pardon. He had no chance on the Saad tally and then did the splits to make a couple of saves in heavy traffic before Seabrook cashed in.
Maybe Maurice did some barking or the Jets did some self-analysis between periods — whatever it was had the effect of a B12 shot. Winnipeg’s top trio of Scheifele, Wheeler and Laine buzzed around on a couple of shifts, finally drawing a penalty, and second power-play unit converted as Nikolaj Ehlers’ blast from the faceoff dot beat Lehner at 7:05.
Late in the period, Scheifele ripped a shot high on the sprawling neminder, whose two-pad stack preserved a one-goal lead.
Early in the final period, Hellebuyck stole back the spotlight, blocking a quick shot from Alex DeBrincat and then pivoting to thwart Jonathan Toews at the edge of the crease.
With the No.1 trio shooting blanks, Copp and his linemates came to the rescue with the tying goal at the 11:44 of the third.
Winnipeg plays its first of five consecutive games at Bell MTS Place on Sunday night when the Pittsburgh Penguins visit. Game time is 6 p.m.
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).
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