Video: POST GAME | JetsTV Road Report
GLENDALE, Arizona - Three milestones in one night paved the way to a 4-1 Winnipeg Jets win over the Arizona Coyotes.
Mark Scheifele scored his 100th career NHL goal, Matt Hendricks scored his first goal in Jets colours, and Steve Mason stopped 29 of 30 shots to earn his first win as a Jet.
"It's a long time coming. I haven't wanted to win this bad in a long time," Mason said. "To get into a tough game for us really, after playing last night and getting in late. It's a big win, and it puts in a pretty good road trip for us."
With the win, the Jets have now won three of four games when coming off a regulation loss, and have earned three of a possible four points in the back half of back-to-back sets.
Video: POST GAME | Paul Maurice
In his last two starts, Mason has stopped 64 of 66 shots in regulation time.
"I'm glad it was one goal against. He deserved that instead of a 5-4 win," said head coach Paul Maurice. "We've always had great confidence in him. Connor just got on such a run that he couldn't get back in the net. This will go a long way. That's the goaltender we signed. He's worked hard while he's been out. He worked real hard to give himself the chance to be that good."
After the Jets got caught in their own zone, Mason made three desperation saves, but Derek Stepan found one of the rebounds and sent it to Alex Goligoski in the high slot. Goligoski's shot banked off Zac Rinaldo and past Mason, putting Arizona up 1-0.
Shots on goal after the first were 9-7 in favour of Arizona.
"In these back-to-back games, the first period is tough. It's tough to get your game legs back up to where they need to be," said Blake Wheeler. "That's the key there, if you can keep it close, keep it within a goal or even two goals, you normally see that team start coming around in the second period."
Video: POST GAME | Blake Wheeler
Nearing the 14-minute mark of the second, the Jets had eleven shots on Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta, but Hendricks made sure shot number 12 counted.
His wrist shot from the top of the circle deflected off the stick of Brendan Perlini on its way to the net, and beat Raanta over his left shoulder.
"It felt good…. Good timing in terms of scoring it," said Hendricks. "These games are going to be close every night. They've been playing very well as of late. They're a good hockey team. They play very structured. It was a lot like last night, we just couldn't get things going offensively."
Video: POST GAME | Matt Hendricks
The offense kept rolling in the third, when the Jets power play lit the lamp for the fifth straight game. After Dustin Byfuglien kept the play alive by knocking a clearing attempt down right on the blue line, the puck went from Patrik Laine's stick, to Blake Wheeler's, who found Mark Scheifele in the slot with a saucer pass.
Scheifele did the rest, ripping home his 100th career NHL goal stick side on Raanta.
"He had the back door, wide open net that he didn't finish on (last night), then he had another one in here tonight, but he stayed with his game," Maurice said of Scheifele. "He looks like he's picking up speed, and not slowing down. The maturity, the growth, we don't call him a young guy anymore because he's 24. The heavier part of his game, on the body, winning battles on the wall, that's been great to watch grow too."
Kyle Connor extended the lead to 3-1 just 5:30 later. The play started when the 20-year-old forced a turnover in the defensive zone on the half wall, then after Wheeler chipped the puck deep into the zone, Scheifele gained possession behind the net, and threaded a pass in front to Connor, who muscled home his fourth of the season.
The assist gave Scheifele 13 points in his last seven games.
Video: POST GAME | Steve Mason
Laine would add an empty netter with 16.5 seconds left to seal the win, and get the Jets a big win after a tough loss in Vegas last night.
"It's a calmness and a maturity to know that it doesn't matter what the other team's record is, it doesn't matter the situation. It's just realizing that we had a tough game last night, and we're not going to come out and blow the doors off in the first period," said Wheeler.
"I think Paul (Maurice) has done a fantastic job of preparing us for each game…. Our preparation has been spot on all year, and our bench has been great. We've had success doing it. At the end of the day if you have success doing it, seeing results is going to give you some confidence."
The two teams will meet for a rematch Tuesday night back in Winnipeg, in what will be a special night at Bell MTS Place. Dale Hawerchuk will be inducted into the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame that night, with puck drop set for 7 pm CT.
For ticket information, head to WinnipegJets.com/tickets.
Tyler Myers temporarily left the game in the third period when his leg got twisted up with Coyotes forward Christian Dvorak near the Jets crease.
Myers needed to be helped off, and after the defenceman missed 71 games last year due to injury and the surgeries that followed, there was great concern on the Jets bench.
"Especially the way he went down. Those are always the worst. It doesn't look bad, but on the replay we thought he had caught his ankle. Those can be real nasty," said Maurice.
"Great that he came back. We had our orthopaedic surgeon here to take a look at him. So we'll get a look at him again tomorrow. But he' s a big piece we don't want to lose."
The 6'8" Myers returned to the bench later in the period with the Jets up 3-1, but only took one 17-second shift after Laine's empty net goal.