Connor overtime shot lifts Jets win over Blues
Kyle Connor scored the overtime winner as the visiting Winnipeg Jets erased a third-period deficit to claim a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night and even their opening-round Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece. Game 5 will be Thursday in Winnipeg. Curiously, the road team has won all four games so far in the series between the Central Division rivals who finished even with 99 points in the regular season.
Off the rush in the extra frame, Mark Scheifele was denied on a golden chance, but he had the presence of mind to feed the puck to the slot for a wide-open Connor to bury the winner at 6:02. It was the first-ever playoff overtime victory in Jets franchise history.
After the game was scoreless through 40 minutes, Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko broke the deadlock with a power-play goal 35 seconds into the third period. Tarasenko was set up at the point before he unloaded a top-shelf, glove-side rocket from just inside the circle for his second man-advantage marker in as many games. However, Scheifele evened the count at 7:33 of the period with a nifty play. Amidst a rush up the ice, Scheifele completed a give-and-go with Connor by redirecting the shot-pass into the top corner. Jets captain Blake Wheeler also collected two points. Despite the low scoring, there was some phenomenal goaltending from both squads.
Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck held the fort in the early going as the hosts collected the first eight shots on goal. Hellebuyck was even bigger late in the second period when he delivered scintillating saves on Robert Thomas and David Perron. Hellebuyck finished with 31 saves in his best performance of this year's playoffs. Not to be outdone, Blues rookie Jordan Binnington answered with authority any questions regarding his ability to regroup after surrendering six goals in Game 3. He was rock solid in making 37 saves, with a key stop on Patrik Laine moments after the Jets made it 1-1.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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