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Poolman scores first career game winner in victory over Sabres

Poolman: "I did play a little forward when I was in college."

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV / Winnipeg Jets

WINNIPEG - It looks like Tucker Poolman's small stint as a forward during his time at the University of North Dakota paid off.

He sure looked like a forward on an odd-man rush in the first period while Winnipeg was short handed when he went to the front of the Buffalo goal before redirecting a Kyle Connor pass through the pads of Carter Hutton.

"Yeah that was a nice pass from K.C.," said Poolman.

"I did play a little forward when I was in college."

Video: POSTGAME | Tucker Poolman

The Jets defenceman scored his first career game-winning goal on Tuesday night during a 3-1 win over top of the Buffalo Sabres at Bell MTS Place. The victory moved the Jets into the second wild card spot in the Western Conference with 14 games left on their regular season schedule.

Video: BUF@WPG: Poolman deflects SHG home from in front

"I kind of had some momentum with how the play was going," smiled Poolman.

"I'm sure the coaches weren't happy that I started to go to the net but it worked out."

Were the coaches upset when the 26-year-old took off for the net while the team was down a man? Especially with the Sabres power play that includes Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin, Wayne Simmonds and Sam Reinhart.

"I'm all right with that one because of the spacing of everybody else. You know they're going to get the puck to the net," said Paul Maurice.

"Preferably your defence isn't driving the net on a shorthanded play but they were obviously in a deficit there and it was a pretty big hole. So I was alright with that."

Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice

After Poolman made it 2-0, Winnipeg pushed the lead to three and for the most part held the Sabres in check. Outside of a fluke goal that Rasmus Ristolainen scored off the skate of Connor Hellebuyck with 9:26 left in the middle frame. The Jets held Buffalo to just 26 shots and allowed just one high danger chance against in the final 40 minutes.

"The guys locked it down, played smart. Moved our feet and just were in the right defensive positions," said Poolman who played 14:57 tonight.

"A lot of it is just making smart little plays and talking the puck out of the zone."

Poolman and the Jets don't return to action until Friday when they welcome the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time this season to Bell MTS Place.

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