Max Pacioretty lifts Canadiens past Jets in OT
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Max Pacioretty scored a power-play goal at 3:07 of overtime to give the Montreal Canadiens a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
Jets defenseman Tyler Myers cross-checked Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk at 1:54 to give the Habs the man advantage.
Some mishandling of the puck by the Jets behind the net led to Pacioretty’s fifth of the season from in close on goalie Connor Hellebuyck. Pacioretty also had two assists.
”From past experience just this year, too many times we maybe felt sorry for ourselves, felt like there was nothing we could do,” Pacioretty said about his team’s reaction to being down in games.
This night, though, he felt the ”energy on the bench” and the support his teammates were giving each other.
”There were some shifts there I thought we tired out their top guys, and that goes a long way and gives you a chance to come back in the game,” he said. ”I really felt the emotion and the confidence and the resiliency.”
The teams were tied 2-2 heading into the third period when Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler scored power-play goals 2:14 apart to give the Jets a 4-2 lead at 6:39.
But the high-shooting Canadiens weren’t done. Tomas Plekanec squeezed the gap at 8:17 and then Jeff Petry tied it at 15:16.
”They have a smaller team, but they’re incredibly quick,” Wheeler said. They’re on every puck. They’re a desperate group over there trying to get their season turned around. We knew it was going to be that type of game.”
The Canadiens peppered Hellebuyck with 50 shots. He made 45 saves as Winnipeg’s winning streak ended at three games. He still hasn’t lost in regulation (7-0-2).
”He played a hell of a game, got us a point,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”He’s played real strong, but tonight he was especially good in a difficult game to play goal because there was nothing clean or easy in front of the net. He was outstanding.”
Montreal coach Claude Julien knew Hellebuyck would be tough to solve.
”He’s been one of those goaltenders that what he can see he stops, and the only way we ever had a chance against this guy was to get some net-front traffic,” Julien said. ”That was what we discussed about before the game.”
Andrew Shaw scored twice on the power play for the Canadiens.
Al Montoya started in goal for injured Carey Price and stopped 19 shots.
Patrik Laine and Andrew Copp also scored for the Jets.
NOTES: Winnipeg was 3 for 3 with the man advantage and Montreal 3 for 6. … Dustin Byfuglien had two assists for Winnipeg.
Canadiens: At Chicago on Sunday night.
Jets: At Dallas on Monday night.
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