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Jets come back to edge Flyers in shootout

Mark Scheifele scores with 48.4 seconds left in regulation to send game to extra time

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice anticipated tonight's match-up with the Philadelphia Flyers (8-8-3) would be a test.

It was a test of his team's persistence, it's ability to stick to the game plan, and it's ability to handle adversity.

That adversity came in the form of an early 2-0 Flyers lead, but the Jets (11-4-3) used the final 40 minutes of regulation, overtime, and the shootout to rally back in dramatic fashion, and send the home fans out of Bell MTS Place happy.

Video: POST GAME | Jets 3, Flyers 2 - F/SO

Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele scored in regulation, and Bryan Little added the shootout winner in a 3-2 win, the team's third victory in a row.

"It was a great comeback win," said Maurice. "After the first period, it was just a hard fought, grinding kind of game. Nobody moved the puck well. There were things we'd like to do better. Fighting back in this league from down two, tying a game… I don't think we were lucky."

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler

The Flyers had been shut out in back-to-back games, but would open the scoring in this one with their first goal in 158:36. Entering the Jets zone off the rush, Sean Couturier's shot from the right wing was kicked aside by Connor Hellebuyck, but Jakub Voracek was in the slot waiting for the rebound, and got just enough of it to slide it past Hellebuyck's right leg.

The visitors would make it 2-0 on the power play just 2:38 later. After Dustin Byfuglien was called for tripping, Couturier banged home a rebound in front of Hellebuyck, after the Jets goaltender had made a great cross-crease save on Wayne Simmonds.

"I know if they get a couple early ones, it's time to go into shut down mode," said Hellebuyck, who finished with 30 saves on 32 shots. "Just hold everything, calm the game down, and sooner or later we'll get our legs under us, just like we did."

The Jets power play would get the team on the board, and who else would it be but Perreault. Joel Armia slid a feed under a kneeling Brandon Mannnig to Perreault, who calmly made a move to his backhand, and slid the puck through Elliott's five hole.

It brought the Jets within one with 6:55 left in the second, and was also Perreault's first goal since opening night, thanks to missing the last 12 games with a lower-body injury.

Video: PHI@WPG: Perreault cashes in on the power play

"It was nice to just get back out there on the ice really. It was a nice pass from Armia. I was able to put it in. It's a great feeling coming back and being able to win a game, and score a goal as well," said Perreault, who finished with 10:45 of ice time.

"If I would have played more, it would have been hard on me. It was nice to get my legs back underneath me and be back out there with the boys."

In the third period, the Jets relied on their penalty kill to keep it a one-goal game. Brandon Tanev came up with a big blocked shot, and followed that up with another on his next shift.

Captain Blake Wheeler was one of the first to give Tanev kudos when he got to the bench.

"If they score three there, it's probably over," said Wheeler. "Great job by those guys - sometimes they go unnoticed for the great job they do. They've been doing a great job for us all year, and keeping us in game."

Video: PHI@WPG: Scheifele ties it on scorching one-timer

Then with time winding down, Wheeler skated the puck from the half wall down to below the goal line, and feathered a no-look backhand pass to Scheifele, who found a soft spot in the Flyers defence.

Scheifele's one-timer was behind Elliott before the Flyers goaltender could react, and Bell MTS Place erupted with the game tied, and 48.4 seconds left on the clock.

After overtime solved nothing, and each team sitting with two goals in the shootout, Bryan Little's wrist shot squeezed between Elliott's arm on the glove side to give the Jets a lead.

That was the lead Hellebuyck needed, as he stoned Travis Konecny on the next shot, sealing the win.

"I take those pretty personally, just like overtime. You just have to get in the zone there. Just kind of read and react, and don't be the first one to make a move," Hellebuyck said of the shootout. "We've had some good road trips, and we've bonded pretty well as a team. I think we all trust each other, and we all believe in it."

Next up for the Jets is a Saturday matinee against the New Jersey Devils, with puck drop set for 2 pm CT.

ICE CHIPS

Radko Gudas received a five-minute major and a game misconduct after slashing the back of Mathieu Perreault's neck in the first period of tonight's win.

"It looked exactly the way we saw," said Maurice. "The league will handle that one."

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