Perreault scores shootout winner, Jets beat Panthers 4-3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Mathieu Perreault thought he would try to take advantage of being left-handed — and it worked.
After some of his Winnipeg teammates couldn’t beat Roberto Luongo on his glove side, the forward flipped in a forehand shot in the sixth round of the shootout to give the Jets a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night. The Jets ended a four-game losing streak.
“Coming down as a lefty, sometimes low blocker is an option and it was there for me so I took it,” Perreault said.
Bryan Little also scored in the shootout for Winnipeg and Vincent Trocheck had Florida’s goal in the shooting contest.
Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist, Little and Adam Lowry also scored in regulation, and Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves.
Aleksander Barkov, Reilly Smith and Vincent Trocheck scored power-play goals — with Jets defenseman Toby Enstrom in the penalty box for each one — in the second period for Florida.
“I think we were just moving it a little quicker, keeping it simple, getting more shots on net,” Florida coach Tom Rowe said. “And then when you get the penalty killers out of position, plays will open up.”
Luongo made 29 saves.
“He was great,” Rowe said. “I mean, he’s one of the best in the world for a reason and we’re lucky to have him.”
Florida had a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, but with the teams on a 4-on-4, Little took a cross-ice pass from Blake Wheeler and tied it at 2:36.
The Jets were being outshot 19-7 in the first when Byfuglien took a pass from rookie Patrik Laine and put a high shot from the bottom of the circle over Luongo’s glove with 11 seconds left in the period.
The Panthers scored the trio of power-play goals as Enstrom was sitting in the penalty box for interference, then holding, then interference again.
“I’m not worried about Toby’s penalties,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “He’s not a careless player and he’s not a lazy player by any means.”
Barkov tied it at 1 at 4:51 of the second. Jaromir Jagr picked up his 1,129th career assist and 1,884th point on the goal. Jagr is three points away from tying Mark Messier for second place on the NHL points list.
Smith followed up with his fifth goal of the season at 8:36 to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead, but Lowry tied it at 10:11 when he banged in a loose puck. Less than two minutes later, Trocheck made it 3-2 with a shot that went past a screened Hellebuyck at 11:58.
NOTES: Winnipeg has given up a power-play goal in each of its past four games. ... Winnipeg had three shots on goal in overtime, while Florida had two.
Panthers: At Colorado on Friday night.
Jets: Host Colorado on Sunday.