Connor scores game winner in OT to lift Jets to 3-2 win over Canadiens Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Kyle Connor's goal 1:45 into overtime lifted the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win over the visiting Montreal Canadiens Thursday night.

The goal snapped an eight game scoring drought for the Jet winger, who hadn't scored since potting an empty netter in the season opener against the New York Rangers.

The Jet winger took a Mark Scheifele drop pass at the top of the circle before moving in and snapping a low glove side wrister past Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault.

"I think I tried him high-glove like seven times today, so changed it up there," said Connor, who had several chances to end the scoring drought, including a wide open net.

The goal was his second of the season.

Connor also had an assist on the night.

Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg.

Blake Wheeler had the other Jet goal.

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 20 shots for the Jets, who kicked off a three-game homestand with a win to move to 6-3-1. Winnipeg has won three of their last four.

Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens.

Kirby Dach also scored for Montreal, who finished off a four-game road trip with a 2-1-1 record.

Sam Montembeault made 33 saves for the Canadiens, who dropped to 5-5-1.

Nick Suzuki scored 6:43 into the first to get Montreal on the board.

Cole Caufield took the puck off the boards by the Jets blue line before sliding the disc through his legs to a busting Suzuki, who broke hard to the outside on his backhand leaving Jet defenceman Dylan DeMelo in his wake before cutting for the net and lifting the puck past Connor Hellebuyck's outstretched blocker.

The goal was his 6th of the season.

Pierre-Luc Dubois tied the contest at 17:28 on the power play.

With Rem Pitlick off for hooking Dubois took a relayed pass from Kyle Connor before moving in from the left point wiring a wrister just inside the right post to knot the game at 1.

The goal was his 4th of the season.

Kirby Dach staked the Canadiens to a 2-1 lead just under five minutes into the second when he snagged a rebound off a Nick Suzuki shot and snapped it into a wide open goal at 4:54.

The goal was his 2nd of the season.

Blake Wheeler replied for the Jets 41 seconds later, sliding a loose puck in the crease past Montembeault to tie the contest at 2 after the Canadiens goaltender let the puck through his pads off a heavy slap shot from Pierre-Luc Dubois at 5:35.

The goal was his 3rd of the season and 299th of his career.

Wheeler appeared to bump the Montreal goalkeeper out of the way before backhanding the puck into the net.

The goal was challenged by the Canadiens for goaltender interference, but was ruled a good goal.

There was no scoring in the third period and the game went to overtime.

Canadiens Head Coach Martin St. Louis was happy with his teams' effort to close out their four game road trip.

"“Yeah, probably the flow of… it was a pretty even game. Considering all the kills we had to execute, I was happy to be in that situation in the third, being tied going into the third and getting an opportunity on the power play in the third, and I thought we got some good looks. Unfortunately we just get the extra point. But overall, pretty pleased," he said.

Jets Head Coach Rick Bowness had nothing but praise for Connor.

"It’s nice to see it go in, obviously. There is perseverance. Just stay with it. Again, the chances are Grade A’s. There are times you want the right guy to get the puck at the right time, in the right spot, and it was coming to him a lot tonight. It was one of those, it wasn’t going in, and he couldn’t pick a better time to score. It was a goal scorer’s goal - off the far post and in. That’s perseverance. Just stay with it. Again, we had that discussion, if you’re not getting opportunities - and that’s when you have to look at what you’re doing wrong - he’s not doing anything wrong. The puck just isn’t going in. That kid tonight made a lot of huge saves. Give their goalie a lot of credit tonight."

Montreal returns home to host Vegas on Saturday while Winnipeg continues their three-game homestand against Chicago.



Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.