WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the game with 9.7 seconds left in overtime, giving the Winnipeg Jets a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on March 27.
Scheifele went in alone and beat Arizona goalie Karel Vejmelka to send the Coyotes to their fifth straight loss. Arizona is 0-4-1 during the skid.
"Vejmelka stood on his head all night, so (I) just tried to keep it simple," Scheifele said.
"It’s nice him being a right-handed goalie, usually that’s glove side, so it’s nice to feel having the blocker on that side. So I just tried to shoot it and hope it went in."
Scheifele also scored in the first period as the Jets closed out a four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 record. Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves.
Arizona’s Nick Ritchie scored a tying goal in the third period. Vejmelka stopped 38 shots.
Arizona head coach Andre Tourigny was proud of his players’ effort against a team still in the playoff hunt.
"We talked about it after the second," Tourigny said. "(The Jets) needed to win badly, they needed those two points. You want to be a proud team, a proud organization who fights every game and make it really tough on your opponent.
"We don’t have the same opportunity as them, in the sense that we know we won’t be in the playoffs, but at the same time we want to fight with the same urgency, the same determination, the same pride and we did it tonight."
Vejmelka was stingy in the crease until 14 seconds left in the opening period when Scheifele scored his 25th of the season. Paul Stastny fired the puck at the net and a rebound bounced off Scheifele and past Vejmelka.
Winnipeg outshot Arizona 14-9 in the first period.
Early in the period, Coyotes forward Phil Kessel received acknowledgment on the scoreboard and cheers from the crowd for playing his 965th consecutive NHL game. That moves him into second place behind Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Keith Yandle (988).
The Jets had a power play early in the second period but were unable to get a shot on goal.
Winnipeg had an apparent goal by Adam Lowry wiped off the scoreboard at 11:30 following a successful Arizona coach’s challenge. A review ruled the puck had hit the netting above the glass 22 seconds earlier and play should have been stopped.
Jets interim head coach Dave Lowry said the team has been feeling the effects of playing five games in eight days.
"We’ve talked about it," Lowry said. "When the coaches are tired, you can just imagine how the players are. And the stress, the build-up of the back-to-back games and the volume of games.
"Obviously, the next couple of days are going to be good for us to reset and recharge and get ready for the two really important games on the road."
Vejmelka was the busier netminder in the middle period, stopping 11 shots. Hellebuyck had four saves.
Ritchie tied the game at 6:17 of the third when he poked at a loose puck under Hellebuyck.
"Tonight there was a lot of the game where we were back to that aggressive style, in your face, making it hard to play against," Ritchie said. "It was a close game there tonight and we had a chance, for sure."
The Coyotes were outshooting the Jets during the third period 10-5 with about five minutes remaining until Winnipeg turned up the tempo and had the 11-8 lead in shots at the end of regulation.
Arizona forward Lawson Crouse was called for tripping with 2:14 left in regulation. Winnipeg had one shot during the man advantage, and defenseman Josh Morrissey fired over the net.
Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere hit the post early in overtime.
Arizona: Closes out three-game trip Monday at Edmonton.
Winnipeg: Open a two-game trip on Wednesday in Buffalo, before facing Toronto on Thursday.
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