WINNIPEG — Mark Scheifele scored 4:18 into overtime as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 on Sunday.
It was Winnipeg’s third straight overtime victory (22-9-2) and extended their win streak to a season-high five games. It also put them in a tie for second in the NHL with the Calgary Flames and tops in the Western Conference.
Patrik Laine skated in front of Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and lost the puck, while Scheifele swooped in and cleaned up the rebound for the winner. Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien each had a pair of assists.
Nikolaj Ehlers added a pair of goals, while Mathieu Perreault, Brandon Tanev also scored for the Jets.
Steven Stamkos had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov, Alex Killorn and Tyler Johnson also scored. Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat each collected a pair of assists.
Connor Hellebuyck made 42 saves for the Jets, who are 9-1 in their past 10 games. Vasilevskiy, in his second game back from a broken foot, stopped 37 shots and picked up an assist on Killorn’s goal.
Tampa Bay (25-7-2) had its win streak end at eight.
The Lightning took a 4-3 lead at 6:55 of the third period with Kucherov’s power-play goal, but Ehlers tied it up with his second goal of the game at 14:23. Ehlers also had an assist.
The quick-paced game was tied 1-1 after the first period and 3-3 after two.
With Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien in the penalty box for slashing, Vasilevskiy got the scoring sequence going when he passed the puck up to Palat just before Winnipeg’s blue line. Palat then fed a pass to Killorn, who put a backhand shot over a falling Hellebuyck at 13:01.
The Jets responded with their own power-play goal with 17 seconds remaining. Perreault scored for the fourth straight game when he redirected a Tyler Myers’ shot while Ryan Callahan served a penalty for delay of game.
Winnipeg had the 12-11 edge in shots on goal after the opening period.
Tanev gave the Jets a 2-1 lead on a good individual effort. After his shot hit the post, he noticed the puck trickle under Vasilveskiy and stuck his stick in from the side and swiped in the puck at 8:36.
The tie didn’t last long as Stamkos scored his 16th goal of the season with a one-timer 37 seconds later. He has nine goals in his last nine games.
Johnson gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead with 1:51 left in the period when he grabbed a loose puck in the slot, spun around and fired it past Hellebuyck.
But Ehlers tied it up with 41 seconds remaining when he took a pass from Scheifele and one-timed a shot from the bottom of the circle into a wide-open side of the net before Vasilevskiy could slide back.
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Scheifele extended his point streak to five games with five goals and eight assists and Blake Wheeler has chalked up one goal and seven assists in his five-game point run.
Tampa Bay went on the power play early in the third when the Jets were called for too many met. Stamkos passed to Kucherov near the bottom of a circle and he blasted a sharp-angled shot that hit Hellebuyck and dropped in at 6:55 for the 4-3 lead.
Ehlers tied it up when a shot by Scheifele missed the net and went off the backboards, bouncing up to Ehlers who got his stick on it to beat Vasilevskiy. Byfuglien picked up an assist. His point streak is five games with one goal and eight assists.
The Jets head off for a three-game road trip starting Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Lightning play their second game of a four-game road trip Tuesday in Vancouver.
Judy Owen, The Canadian Press