Jets reach 50 wins with 5-4 OT triumph over Canadiens

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Jets reach 50 wins with 5-4 OT triumph over Canadiens
Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Myers congratulates teammate Kyle Connor after Connor scored the winning goal during overtime to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in NHL hockey action Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

MONTREAL (AP) — Kyle Connor scored three minutes into overtime and Patrik Laine added his 44th goal and the Winnipeg Jets earned their 50th win of the season with a 5-4 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal’s final home game of the season on Tuesday night.

Alex Galchenyuk forced overtime with a power-play goal at 18:18 of the third period.

Sami Niku, with his first NHL goal, Nikolaj Ehlers and Jack Roslovic also scored for the Jets, who ended a four-game road trip. Winnipeg, which had already established a club record for wins in a season, has taken nine of its past 10 decisions.

Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron and Kerby Rychel also scored for Montreal, which lost its third straight game.

The lineups had a preseason look as the Jets opted to rest Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Adam Lowry, Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey with what were called minor injuries. Montreal has regularly been using several minor league call-ups of late.

But the Jets were still all over Montreal and got the lead at 12:25 on a power play when Laine wired a goal to the top corner with an off-wing shot. Ehlers finished a 3-on-1 by knocking in Paul Stastny’s pass at 14:19.

Roslovic one-timed Tucker Poolman’s pass along the ice from the left faceoff dot to score at 15:58, but Montreal got it back at 19:00 when Lehkonen picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Steve Mason.

Byron reached the 20-goal mark for a second straight season as he banged in Brendan Gallagher’s rebound 3:19 into the third period and Rychel tied it 3-3 with a deflection after a faceoff in the Winnipeg zone at 10:15.

Only 24 seconds later, Niku, in his NHL debut, scored on a wrist shot through traffic from the slot.

Montreal was on a power play and had Carey Price pulled for an extra attacker when Galchenyuk’s shot from the right circle was juggled by Mason and dropped into the net with 1:42 left in regulation time.

It was the 557th game for Price, who passed Jacques Plante for the Canadiens record for games played by a goaltender. A video tribute was played at 6:13 of the first period with messages from goaltending greats Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy and Price got a long ovation. Plante has the team record for wins with 314.

UP NEXT:

Jets: Host Flames on Thursday.

Canadiens: Travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Thursday.

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