Morrissey’s second OT winner of the week lifts Jets past Stars in wild finish

Have you blown a late lead? Did you just give up multiple goals to a team that pulled their goalie? Looking to regroup heading into overtime?

Josh Morrissey is just the guy you need to save the day.

For the second time in three games, the Winnipeg Jets collapsed late in the third period before Morrissey scored the overtime winner, this time in a wild 5-4 win in Dallas Friday night.

The Jets wasted no time in getting on the board as Cole Perfetti took a pass in stride from Blake Wheeler and deked out Jake Oettinger for the opening goal just 92 seconds into the game.

But Dallas had the answer, and quick. Jamie Benn led a Stars rush into the Winnipeg end and snapped a shot off the pad of Connor Hellebuyck, which ricocheted right to the stick of Wyatt Johnston for a tap-in equalizer 26 seconds after Perfetti’s goal.

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Winnipeg would regain the lead less than four minutes later after Dallas mishandled a Jets dump in. The puck bounced off the end boards to Adam Lowry who fed Jansen Harkins for his first of the season.

Once again, though, the lead was short-lived. With Dallas on the power play, Jamie Benn banged home a loose puck for his 10th of the season at the 8:27 mark of the first. Jason Robertson picked up an assist on the goal, extending his point streak to a franchise-record 14 games.

After the chaotic start, the teams stiffened up defensively until the Jets third line cashed in for a second time in the middle frame.

A point shot from Dylan DeMelo was redirected by Axel Jonsson-Fjallby right to the stick of Lowry, who slid it into a yawning net to restore Winnipeg’s one-goal lead just over eight minutes into the second.

For a brief moment, Dallas thought they had again tied the game. The Stars dumped the puck into Winnipeg’s end and the Jets thought it hit the netting out of play, so they stopped playing. But there was no whistle, so Robertson took the puck and put it into the net.

Winnipeg challenged the goal and officials quickly realized on review that the whistle should have been blown, so the goal was called off.

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The Jets stayed in charge into the third and looked like they’d put the game on ice when Kyle Connor redirected a pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois past Oettinger with less than nine minutes to go.

But Jets fans remember what happened on Monday against Carolina. Winnipeg was cruising along with a three-goal lead, but the Hurricanes scored thrice with their net empty to send it to overtime.

A sense of deja vu began setting in when, with Oettinger on the bench, Robertson beat Hellebuyck through a screen to make it 4-3 with 2:12 to go.

Surely it wouldn’t happen again, would it?

It did, but not without great controversy.

With less than 30 seconds left, Benn bumped into Hellebuyck at the side of the Jets net, knocking Hellebuyck’s mask off. But the refs did not blow the whistle as the Winnipeg goalie lay facedown on the ice.

Instead, officials let the play continue. The puck found its way to the stick of Robertson who fired it into an empty net, and it seemed impossible that the goal would not be overturned after replay.

But the situation room deemed that Benn was bumped into the goalie by Morrissey, so the goal was allowed to stand. The Jets were incensed but had to quickly regroup for the OT session.

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After Dallas started the extra frame with possession, Wheeler won the puck in the corner in the Winnipeg end and hit a streaking Morrissey up the ice, blowing past a tired Robertson and beating Oettinger five-hole on a clean breakaway for his second OT winner in three games.

Hellebuyck made 37 saves in the win as Winnipeg improves to 6-1 in overtime this season. Oettinger turned aside 23 shots in the loss.

Winnipeg wraps up this three-game road trip Sunday in Chicago. Pregame coverage on 680 CJOB starts at 4 p.m. with the puck dropping just after 6 p.m.

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