WINNIPEG -- Mark Scheifele had his first NHL hat trick to help the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 at MTS Centre on Saturday.
After Montreal tied Winnipeg twice, Scheifele drifted in front of the Canadiens net and deflected Drew Stafford's long pass to the slot past goaltender Mike Condon with 6:59 left in the third period. Scheifele finished the hat trick with 29 seconds remaining, outracing Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban for an empty-net goal.
"I tripped up on [an earlier empty-net] opportunity, so I was pretty determined to get that one," Scheifele said. "To play against a good team like them on 'Hockey Night in Canada,' it makes it that much better. It was a hard-fought game. It got frustrating at times."
Scheifele, who has taken over as Winnipeg's No. 1 center after Bryan Little (vertebrae) was injured Feb. 18, has a Jets-high 20 goals, five in his past two games.
"It's huge for me," Scheifele said. "With [Little] going down, I wanted to be that guy that stepped up and give a little more. I just want to continue that."
Video: MTL@WPG: Scheifele steals the puck, scores breakaway
Jets coach Paul Maurice said, "It's just skating for me. When he brings his speed as the first thing he puts on the ice, he's a really good player."
Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien assisted on Scheifele's third goal to set an NHL career-high with an eight-game point streak (one goal, seven assists). Rookie center Andrew Copp scored a third-period goal, and Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves.
The Jets (27-32-5) ended a three-game losing streak and won for the third time in their past 14 home games (3-10-1). They host the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
Alex Galchenyuk, who moved to center on Montreal's first line, reached an NHL career-high 21 goals by scoring twice. Linemate Max Pacioretty had two assists, and Condon made 26 saves.
"[Galchenyuk] responded really well," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "First of all, he looked confident. He attacked with a lot of speed. On the defensive side, he was confident and in the right place. He's a young player (22). You look at the progress [each season], he is maturing on the ice."
Video: MTL@WPG: Stafford sets up Scheifele for go-ahead goal
The Canadiens (30-30-6) finished an 0-3-1 road trip.
"It has been a tough road trip for us," Subban said. "I felt we had an opportunity to get two points. I felt we came in with the right energy, the right mentality, the right attitude. We played hard the whole road trip. We gave ourselves opportunities to win all of those games."
Scheifele and Galchenyuk scored 1:13 apart in the second period for a 1-1 tie. Subban slipped at the Montreal blue line carrying the puck out of the zone, and Scheifele grabbed the puck and slipped it past Condon at 4:10.
Pacioretty won the puck in front of the net and moved it to Galchenyuk, who put it past Pavelec at 5:23.
Video: MTL@WPG: Pacioretty sets up Galchenyuk for nice score
Copp tipped a long left-point shot from Ben Chiarot past Condon at 5:57 of the third period for a 2-1 lead. The goal was Copp's second in his past three games after he went 45 games without one.
Galchenyuk tied the game 2-2 with 9:44 to go, tipping Greg Pateryn's low shot from the right point past Pavelec.
"I felt pretty comfortable (at center), to be honest," Galchenyuk said. "I think that as a line we created some chances, but it's tough losing another close game."
Video: MTL@WPG: Galchenyuk scores second goal to tie game
Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher skated 4:52 before leaving the game in the first period with a lower-body injury. Therrien did not have an update on Gallagher's status afterward.
Gallagher's injury prompted Therrien to move rookie Sven Andrighetto to the first line with Galchenyuk and Pacioretty. The Canadiens begin a four-game homestand Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
"Other than the result, I have to look at the performance of the young players," Therrien said. "The result is not there, but there are a lot of good things that we see from those young kids."
Video: Scheifele collects hat trick, leads Jets to win