Connor scores in OT, Jets beat Canadiens 3-2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Kyle Connor scored 1:45 into overtime to give the Winnipeg Jets a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Pierre-Luc Dubois had a goal and an assist and Blake Wheeler also scored to help the Jets extend their point streak to 4-0-1. Connor also had an assist, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 20 shots.
In the extra period, Connor beat Sam Montembeault with a low shot for his first goal on a goalie this season. He had an empty-netter in Winnipeg’s season opener.
“We’ve got such a good group, and build each other up in situations where guys are dealing with that,” said Connor, who scored a team-high 47 goals last season. “For me, I just lean on them a lot. It starts with our leaders. Blake (Wheeler), I think, was the first guy off the bench hugging me. He couldn’t be more excited. … It’s good to be able to lean on those guys in situations like that.”
Wheeler was also happy to see Connor score.
“Yeah, we needed that guy to score,” Wheeler said. “He has had incredible opportunities every game. He’s just so dynamic and creates so much out there for us. … For guys like him, when it rains it pours. Hopefully, it’s the start of something big for him.”
Nick Suzuki had a goal and an assist to extend his goal-scoring streak to three games, and Kirby Dach also scored for the Canadiens. Cole Caulfield had two assists and Montembeault finished with 33 saves.
“It was pretty even all the way through,” Suzuki said. “I think they had a lot more power plays than us and that kind of drained some of our guys’ energy.”
Montreal gave up one goal on five Winnipeg power plays.
“I think if we didn’t have that many penalty kills, our 5-on-5 game was good tonight and could have changed the game,” Suzuki said.
Montembeault faced a 3-on-1 early in the third period, but turned aside Alex Jonsson-Fjallby’s shot to keep it tied 2-2.
Dach gave Montreal a 2-1 lead when he put a rebound Suzuki’s shot into the net at 4:54 of the second period.
Wheeler tied it again just 41 seconds later with the 299th goal of his career. The Canadiens challenged for goalie interference but the goal was upheld after a review. Dubois had shot the puck at Montembeault and it went under him and along the goal line. Wheeler was in front of the net and banged it in with his stretched-out stick.
“I’m not sure what the rule is on a rebound like that, but the initial shot, everything was fine,” Montembeault said. “But then after the puck was just behind me, I turned around and tried to put my hand on it and (Wheeler) pushed me like he would have (done) with a D-man. But he pushed me out of my crease and (Wheeler) had an easy tap-in after that. That should have been goaltender interference.”
Suzuki got the Canadiens on the scoreboard first with his sixth of the season at 6:43 of the first period.
DuBois tied it with a power-play goal with 3 1/2 minutes left.
Canadiens D Joel Edmundson played his first game after missing the first 10 with a lower back injury. … Jets C Dominic Toninato also made his season debut, filling a roster spot for the injured Morgan Barron (wrist surgery).
Canadiens: Host Vegas on Saturday night.
Jets: Host Chicago on Saturday.
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