Scheifele scores in OT, Jets beat Ducks

Winnipeg scored twice in the final 8:25 of regulation before Mark Scheifele’s overtime winner lifted the Jets to a 4-3 win over the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Following a coach’s challenge by Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, it was determined Dustin Byfuglien’s jam-job in the crease was indeed a good goal, tying the score with 12 seconds remaining and sending the game to overtime.

Joel Armia and captain Blake Wheeler joined Byfuglien with regulation goals for Winnipeg (36-35-7).

Corey Perry scored twice as the Pacific Division-leading Ducks lost for the first time in their last six games. Jakob Silfverberg also scored for Anaheim (42-23-12).

Anaheim goaltender Jonathan Bernier turned away 36 of the 40 shots he faced as he continues to lead the Ducks on an impressive run since capturing the starting job from John Gibson.

Bernier has been rock solid in the month of March, leading all NHL goaltenders in wins despite Thursday’s loss. The 28-year-old is 10-1-2 this month, entering Winnipeg with a .946 save-percentage and a 1.65 goals against average — both good for third in the NHL in March.

Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves for Winnipeg, improving to 8-12-3 in his 19th start of the season in goal.

Silfverberg opened the scoring at 8:17 of the first, whipping a wrist shot from the face-off dot over Hutchinson’s glove for his 22nd of the season.

The Jets found the equalizer at 11:54 of the first as Armia scored his second short-handed goal in as many games — and fourth of the season — with an impressive individual effort, regaining the puck after carrying it into the Ducks zone and beating and unsuspecting Bernier low with a quick shot for his 10th goal of the year.

Perry put the Ducks back in front with 1:04 remaining in the period, then added his second of the game and 18th of the season on the power play at 7:01 of the second.

Wheeler brought the Jets back within a goal with his 24th of the season with 8:25 remaining in the third.

On Tuesday night Anaheim clinched a playoff berth for a fifth-consecutive season — the only Pacific Division team to do so — and have reached the post-season in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

With five games remaining on their regular season schedule, the Ducks visit Edmonton on April 1 and Calgary April 2 to complete a four-game road trip before returning home to host Calgary, Chicago, and Los Angeles through April 9.

Winners of six of their last eight games, the Jets — who were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Monday with the St. Louis Blues’ 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes — captured a third straight victory following a pair of one-goal wins over Vancouver and in New Jersey.

The Jets have four games remaining in their season. They host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night before travelling to St. Louis and Columbus next week. They play their final regular season game on April 8 at home against the Nashville Predators.

Darrin Bauming, The Canadian Press

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