Wild rally falls short in loss to Jets
Minnesota scores four goals in second period, but skid reaches fiveby Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent
WINNIPEG -- Josh Morrissey scored with 7:17 left to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild at MTS Centre on Sunday.
The Wild (43-22-6) battled back from being down 4-0 early in the second period, when they outshot the Jets 21-5 and scored four goals in 10:24 to tie the game. But they lost their fifth straight and fell seven points back of the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division. The Blackhawks defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Sunday.
WATCH: All Wild vs. Jets highlights
Chris Stewart scored two goals and Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund also scored for the Wild. Devan Dubnyk allowed five goals on 21 shots.
"Hey, listen … we stunk in the first," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We better come back in the second. It's not resiliency. You make it sound like we're good. That's all. I'm done."
Video: MIN@WPG: Copp buries Lowry's centering dish in 1st
Winnipeg (32-33-7) moved within 10 points of the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with 10 games remaining.
Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, Ben Chiarot and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck was pulled after allowing four goals on 35 shots. Michael Hutchinson made 13 saves, including a pad save against Matt Dumba in the final seconds to secure the win.
"I haven't played with the lead for a while, that adds a little more pressure coming into those situations," Hutchinson said. "It was nice to back into a situation where the game was competitive."
Copp scored at 3:47 of the first period to give the Jets a 1-0 lead. Lowry made it 2-0 on the power play at 5:36. Chiarot extended the lead to 3-0 at 16:47.
Dustin Byfuglien's backhand shot made it 4-0 at 4:48 of the second period. Blake Wheeler got his 500th NHL point with an assist.
Video: MIN@WPG: Wheeler sets up Byfuglien, earns 500th point
But the Wild started to rally when Coyle made it 4-1 with at 9:23. Mikko Koivu made a quick cross-ice pass to Granlund on the power play at 15:08 to make it 4-2.
Stewart scored 38 seconds later at 15:47 and again at 19:47 to tie the game 4-4.
"You just can't take your foot off the gas against teams like that," Wheeler said. "You give them an inch, and all the sudden it's a 4-4 ball game."
The Jets killed off a two-minute minor against Byfuglien for closing his hand on the puck with 2:07 remaining.
Goal of the game
Scheifele won a battle down low and got the puck to Brian Strait, who moved it cross-ice to Morrissey for the one-timer, his third game-winner in his first NHL season.
Video: MIN@WPG: Morrissey drills go-ahead goal off post
Save of the game
Hutchinson sprawled out to get his right pad on Dumba's point-blank shot in the slot with the Jets on the penalty kill and the Wild net empty late in the third period to preserve the 5-4 lead.
Video: MIN@WPG: Hutchinson stops late bids from Suter, Dumba
Highlight of the game
Bryan Little won a faceoff back to Chiarot, who took the puck wide to the left side, edging past Erik Haula before driving the net, with his backhand shot going off a defender and into the net.
Video: MIN@WPG: Chiarot's backhander pinballs into the net
Unsung performance of the game
Jets forward Mathieu Perreault had two assists, two shots, two hits and a takeaway in 17:51 of ice time.
They said it
"You give up four goals, and then we tie it up, and then we let it slip away. You'd like to think we'd at least get a point out of that one. It does sting, but I think it's too late in the year for moral victories." -- Wild forward Chris Stewart
"It's special for sure. Tough under the circumstances the way we're playing here the last little bit, but in the overall grand scheme it's a special moment for sure. It's been an honor to play this game. To start, it's fun to be out there every day." -- Wild forward Eric Staal on his 1,000th NHL game
Video: MIN@WPG: Jets honor Staal for 1,000th NHL game
"You feel blessed to have the opportunities I've been given. I've been lucky to play with a lot of great hockey players, so it's just been a real good start to the career. Being able to play with so many great guys, play a lot of minutes, I feel very fortunate for the opportunities I've been given." -- Jets forward Blake Wheeler on his 500th NHL point
Need to know
Wild forward Jason Pominville was a healthy scratch. … Hellebuyck has been pulled eight times in 52 games this season, including three times in a stretch of 16 consecutive starts.
Wild: Host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)
Jets: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)