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Jets rally in the third, but fall to Stars in overtime

Wheeler, Scheifele score in third to erase two-goal deficit

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

DALLAS - Erasing a two-goal deficit against one of the best defensive teams in the National Hockey League isn't easy, but the Winnipeg Jets found a way to do just that on Thursday night. 

Unfortunately, they only left American Airlines Center with one point.

Goals from Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele in the third period turned a 2-0 Stars lead into a tie game, but Joe Pavelski's power play goal in overtime gave Dallas a 3-2 win.

It was the first time this season the Jets had lost in the overtime period.

"When you get to that point in the game especially dominating the third the way we did, you want to leave with a better feeling. Good road point, good battle back. I'm really happy with that," said head coach Paul Maurice.

"You want to win every night in this league, but you're not going to go out on the road and dominate every night."

Video: WPG@DAL: Wheeler scores after ricochet in the 3rd

It was the type of game the Jets expected coming into Dallas after beating the Stars 5-1 two nights earlier.

But the Jets (17-10-2) weathered the storm as best they could. Even though they gave up two goals on five Dallas power play opportunities, it was arguably a four-minute kill of a double-minor to Scheifele in the second period that helped turn the momentum.

"I thought the kill was outstanding," said Maurice. "We got action on our power play, so we didn't come back to the bench frustrated. We thought we were right there."

The game-winner from Pavelski, his sixth goal of the season, came when Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey was called for holding the stick early in the extra frame.

"It doesn't really matter now. It is what it is. The penalty is called. We move on to the next game," Morrissey said.

"The compete was great. I felt we got better as the game went on. We never quit in here. We battled right up until the overtime goal goes in against. The PK was great tonight. The guys really battled hard. It's a frustrating way to end a great comeback."

Dallas (16-11-3) was winless in four games coming into the night and they came out a motivated squad, outshooting Winnipeg 14-8 in the opening 20 minutes.

Video: WPG@DAL: Scheifele blasts game-tying shot late in 3rd

After a couple of close calls for both sides throughout the first period, Jamie Benn broke the scoreless tie with 1:33 to go in the opening period. Seconds after a four-on-three Stars power play turned to a five-on-four advantage, Benn's wrist shot from the left circle beat a screened Connor Hellebuyck on the glove side.

Dallas would build on that lead 9:25 into the second, when Denis Gurianov's wrist shot from the right wing got by Hellebuyck on the stick side, just inside the post. His fifth of the campaign made it 2-0 for the home side.

But with five comeback wins already this season, the Jets were still comfortable with the thought of having to rally in the third.

"It's a big part of the belief when you're coming out," said Maurice. "When you've had success, you know you can do it, you have confidence in your firepower. So does the other team, so they're careful with you too in the third. You get a step on them, that's all it takes."

The Jets got the start to the third period they needed when Wheeler's wrist shot from the bottom of the right circle hit Ben Bishop in the shoulder, popped up in the air and over the Stars goaltender, bouncing off his skate and over the goal line.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Tucker Poolman picked up assists on Wheeler's seventh of the season.

The Jets continued to pour it on in the third period, outshooting Dallas 13-3 in the final frame. The hard work paid off, as with Hellebuyck pulled for an extra attacker, Patrik Laine found Scheifele wide open in the slot for the equalizer with 44.6 seconds left in regulation.

"You have to take your shots when you get them, but if it doesn't go in that's where the guys down low do an unbelievable job," said Wheeler. "KC is all over the puck, Nik was all over the puck, Patty was in on that battle to set up Scheif. Those are the little things that ultimately spring you."

But 91 seconds into overtime, Pavelski tapped in a Tyler Seguin centering pass to send the Jets home with one of two possible points.

"Two pretty evenly matched teams. They play a tough game, especially in this building," said Wheeler. 

"It was a great hockey game. The last couple years, whenever we've played these guys it's been a tough battle… Those are fun games to get up for. Early December, that was a good hockey game."

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