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game recap

Jets rally for overtime victory against Ducks

Wheeler's OT goal costs Anaheim a point in battle for Pacific Division lead

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

Wheeler's game-winning goal

WPG@ANA: Wheeler fires in the game-winning goal in OT

4/5/16: Blake Wheeler gets the feed from Mark Scheifele, then powers it towards the net and off the goalie's shoulder for the game-winner

  • 00:57 •

ANAHEIM - The Winnipeg Jets got a little revenge for the Anaheim Ducks' first-round sweep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.

The Jets cost the Ducks a valuable point in their battle for first place in the Pacific Division when Blake Wheeler scored 3:07 into overtime to give Winnipeg a 2-1 victory on Tuesday at Honda Center.

Jets forward Marko Dano tied the game at 1-1 with 3:46 left in the third period when he redirected Jacob Trouba's point shot past goaltender John Gibson. Wheeler won it when his wrist shot from near the right faceoff dot hit the crook of Gibson's elbow and trickled into the net, just ahead of Andrew Cogliano's desperate bid to sweep the puck off the goal line.

"When they beat us in the playoffs, it added a little bit to the rivalry," Winnipeg goalie Michael Hutchinson said. "That makes us a little more hungry. We got down against them but we kept battling and we really took it to them tonight."

Video: WPG@ANA: Dano ties it up on a redirected shot in 3rd

Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf nearly ended less than a minute before Wheeler's goal, but Hutchinson stopped him on a breakaway. Hutchinson made two saves in overtime and 27 for the game to earn his first win against Anaheim in five tries.

"I was just trying to wait him out," Hutchinson said. "I thought he was going to try and pull it far-side and go backhand upstairs but he ended up going five-hole. I was just fortunate enough I was able to close my five-hole quick enough."

Hutchinson didn't immediately know that he had the puck and was momentarily concerned that he'd let it slip through.

"Our guys did a good job of yelling at me that I had it because I wasn't really sure," Hutchinson said. "Players with gifted hands like that who make a move and go five-hole like that when you're spread out like that, you're heart kind of stops."

Video: WPG@ANA: Hutchinson stymies potential GWG in OT

The single point got the Ducks (44-24-11) even with the Los Angeles Kings for the top spot in the Pacific Division, but the Ducks have a game in hand. The teams play Thursday at Staples Center. Anaheim finishes the season with road games against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday and the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Getzlaf knows the Ducks let a big point get away.

"Having a lead late in the game like that, we'd like to close it out," he said. "You're not going to win them all, but we would've preferred to have two points tonight. We have to get ready for the next one now."

Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said the loss sets up a tense situation that the Ducks wanted to avoid.

Video: WPG@ANA: Hutchinson stones Cogliano's breakaway shot

"Unnecessary drama, but drama nonetheless," Boudreau said. "Until the third period, I thought we were just playing to play with them. We weren't pushing like we did against [the Dallas Stars in a 3-1 win on Sunday]. I thought we played better in the third period and in the overtime, but when the best faceoff player in the league loses a draw, and we don't cover the guy in front of the net, bad things happen."

Corey Perry's power-play goal at 13:33 of the first period put the Ducks ahead 1-0. Hutchinson stopped Getzlaf's one-timer but couldn't control it, and Perry tipped in the rebound for his team-leading 33rd goal of the season.

Gibson made 24 saves but lost for the first time in five career decisions against the Jets (4-0-1).

Boudreau wasn't happy with the Ducks' execution level.

Video: WPG@ANA: Hutchinson halts the breakaway threat

"We talk about not being cute with the puck. We're a meat-and-potatoes team. We have to play north-south hockey and get it deep all the time. When we don't do that, we're usually in trouble," he said. "Tonight, when you get over the blue line and you're going east-west instead of north-south, and dropping passes, you're not going to get opportunities."

Winnipeg (33-39-8) finishes its season in California, playing at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday and at Los Angeles on Saturday.

Coach Paul Maurice has been encouraged by the Jets' recent play and hopes they continue to push hard against two more playoff-bound teams.

"We've done a pretty good job in three or four games in the last three or four weeks of being behind going into the third and generating enough," Maurice said. "They've got a good defensive mindset on their team so it's not going to be an easy run, but we're good enough."

Video: Wheeler nets game-winner in OT to down Ducks

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