DETROIT, Michigan - Blake Wheeler told us as much, and by now we shouldn't even be surprised.
They just. Don't. Quit.
Without Bryan Little. Without Tyler Myers. Without Mathieu Perreault, Drew Stafford, Shawn Matthias, Mark Stuart and Joel Armia, they still found a way.
The Jets trailed three times, but fought back to tie it before taking their first lead when it mattered most.
Brandon Tanev's first two NHL goals to help the Jets take a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Tanev tied the game at three with 7:36 to play before scoring the go-ahead goal on a breakaway with 1:16 left.
Video: WPG@DET: Tanev nets go-ahead goal on a breakaway
Nikolaj Ehlers, who had a career-high four-point night, found the empty net at 19:54 to seal the victory. Patrik Laine had a goal an assist, and Mark Scheifele rounded out the scoring for Winnipeg.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 30 in the win.
Head Coach Paul Maurice described it as one of the most enjoyable wins he's ever been a part of.
"I thought after eight minutes in the first period we played a heck of a game for an NHL team, then factor in the travel and seven guys out of your lineup and the youth of our group, that's an enjoyable a win from a coach's point of view… That's as much fun as I've had behind the bench in a long time."
Video: POSTGAME | Paul Maurice
The Jets trailed after two periods, and then again late as Justin Abdelkader broke a 2-2 tie, but as the Jets have so many times this season, a third-period comeback was waiting in the wings.
"The resiliency of this group is incredible," Tanev said. "We saw it last night in Washington and again tonight. We don't stop pushing, that's the mentality of this group. We keep looking forward no matter the circumstances.
"Everyone's up, their heads are up, everyone's talking and communicating well with each other. We know what we need to do the next 20 minutes to go and get the win."
Video: WPG@DET: Tanev scores first NHL goal to tie game
Scheifele tied the game at 2:01, banging home a rebound after Laine worked his way in, burning defender before putting a shot into feet of the goaltender. Scheifele jammed it home at the doorstep to give him six on the year.
The play was reviewed, as the puck disappeared under the body of Petr Mrazek, but logic kicked in and the initial no-goal call was rightfully overturned.
Tanev tied it with his first - a beauty - that found the very top shelf, then buried it in almost the same spot as he raced in alone just a few minutes later. The Jets have no outscored the opposition 19-8 in the third period and overtime this season.
"Brandon Tanev, right?" Maurice said. "He just picked up the team with his pace, with his speed. He was a difference maker for us tonight. … Those guys are so important to your team. They're energy guys, grinders, hard workers. To get two in such an important game, it's a good payoff for him. I hope he takes all the confidence in the world from it that he can make those plays."
"Great win. Great, great win."
Ehlers made a great pass to make Tanev's first a reality.
Video: POSTGAME | Nikolaj Ehlers
"It's great. A guy like (Tanev), he's been working his butt off every single game," he said. "He was always joking around about when he was going to get his first one, so to see him get two today, the tying goal and the game-winner, it's great."
"It's not bad. I could get used to it," he joked, adding of his first-career four-point game.
" It's great. We got the win, it's really all that matters."
It was a 1-1 game with the shots in the Wings' favour, 15-8, after one period of play.
Luke Glendening opened the scoring for the Red Wings at 3:04 of the first period, redirecting a Danny DeKeyser point shot past Hellebuyck after finding a lane in the high slot.
Hellebuyck came up with a big blocker save on the speedy Darren Helm, who took off on a breakaway, just moments later to keep the score close.
Laine tied things up for the Jets with 4:31 left in the opening frame, as part of a six-oh run on the shot clock. No. 29 took a beautiful neutral-ice pass from Mark Scheifele and chipped the puck up and over a falling defender before cutting in on his off wing and firing a shot five-hole on Petr Mrazek.
Detroit jumped out to an 11-1 lead in shots, but Winnipeg picked it up considerably in the back half of the period.
"I thought after eight minutes in the first period we played a heck of a game for an NHL team, then factor in the travel and seven guys out of your lineup and the youth of our group, that's an enjoyable a win from a coach's point of view," Maurice said.
The Jets had good pressure to begin the second period, but Henrik Zetterberg put the Wings back in front near the midway mark. Hellebuyck kicked out the initial blast by Tomas Tatar, but Zetterberg crashed the net and showed great some great hand-eye, batting it out of midair for the go-ahead goal.
Video: The Connor Family
LATE HITS: Shelby Township native Kyle Connor played his first game in his home state of Michigan, and 12 family and friends were on hand to mark the occasion.
"We were really excited when we saw him go to Winnipeg (in the 2015 draft). We know it's a big hockey city," his mother Kathy said just before puck drop.
"I'm just really proud of him."
Connor finished with almost 15 minutes of ice time and made a game-saving defensive play late in the third period.
Hellebuyck - a Commerce, Michigan product - was also playing his first game in Detroit. He had four family members on hand.
- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com