Dustin Byfuglien lifts Jets past Leafs in overtime

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Winnipeg, MB, Canada (4E Sports) – Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime to carry the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday at MTS Centre.

The Jets lost a three-goal lead but emerged victorious behind Byfuglien’s high shot past Jonathan Bernier with 2:16 left in extra time.

Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little and Zach Bogosian also scored while Ondrej Pavelec finished with 24 saves in his eighth consecutive start as the Jets (24-24-5) clinched their fifth win in six games since Paul Maurice replaced Claude Noel on Jan. 12.

Dion Phaneuf, Troy Bodie, Tim Gleason and Phil Kessel provided the scoring for the Maple Leafs (27-21-6), who ended a four-game trip against Western Conference opponents with a 2-1-1 record.

Little’s goal ended Toronto starter James Reimer’s night. It was the second time in as many games that Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle pulled his starting goaltender. Reimer stopped 15 shots while Bernier made 12 saves.

Scheifele gave the Jets a quick lead by scoring his 10th of the season. Evander Kane forced a turnover from Gleason before working the puck to Scheifele, who snapped a shot from the high slot that snuck past Reimer.

Wheeler’s 19th and the Jets’ first power-play goal in four games made it 2-0. He broke down the left side on his off-wing and directed a wrist shot through Reimer’s pads.

Early in the second, Phaneuf ripped a shot from just inside the blue line that beat Pavelec to put the Leafs on the board but Little and Zach Bogosian recorded back-to-back goals for a 4-1 lead.

Little tipped Tobias Enstrom’s shot past Reimer for a power-play goal, ending the goaltender’s night. Bogosian beat Bernier with a shot through a screen at 8:13 for a three-goal lead.

However, goals by Bodie and Gleason before the end of the second period sliced the margin to 4-3, and Kessel tied it by beating Pavelec with 1:33 left in regulation for his 27th of the season.

The Jets visit the Chicago Blackhawks Sunday while the Leafs begin a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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