WINNIPEG —; Dustin Byfuglien’s talents had his teammates and coach singing his praises on Tuesday.
Byfuglien scored 4:00 into overtime as the Winnipeg Jets snapped the Minnesota Wild’s six-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory.
Minnesota defenceman Jared Spurgeon turned the puck over in Winnipeg’s end and Byfuglien grabbed the loose puck and skated down the boards alone. As Wild defenceman Ryan Suter started coming across toward him, Byfuglien ripped a shot over goalie Devan Dubynk’s blocker.
Jets coach Paul Maurice called it a “spectacular” goal.
“You’ve got to take a look at that goal and where he got that shot off from. I’m just not sure how many guys can do that,” Maurice said.
Toby Enstrom scored in regulation and Michael Hutchinson stopped 29 shots for Winnipeg (28-18-10), which has won back-to-back games and has points in its last four outings (2-0-2).
Jason Pominville had the lone goal for the Wild (26-20-7), who got a 32-save performance from Dubnyk.
“I knew my guy was down, and in a four-on-four it’s a man-on-man type of thing,” Byfuglien said.
“I knew I was going to have room and I just had my head up and (saw) the shot.”
Spurgeon blamed himself for the giveaway.
“It was a horrible play by me,” he said. “I saw Mikko (Koivu) there and obviously didn’t put it hard enough and (Byfuglien) read my pass, chipped it out and made a nice shot. I let the team down.”
Dubnyk said Byfuglien has a “dangerous shot.”
“When I see him coming down, I want to make sure I get out on him because he can tee it up, too,” he said. “When he got in tight, I thought he was going to take it to the net and go his backhand. I flattened out a little bit and he kind of flicked his wrists over and made a pretty nice shot, so you’ve got to give it to him.”
Byfuglien’s talents and versatility have been on display this season.
He started off as a forward, but got to play 26 games at his preferred defensive spot from Dec. 5-Feb. 2 after the Jets were hit by injuries along the blue-line.
Four games ago, Byfuglien was moved back to forward after Evander Kane was scratched and then had shoulder surgery last weekend.
With a smile, Maurice said Byfuglien was playing defence “at the time he scored the goal so he wants that on the record.”
After two scoreless periods, the Jets got on the board with Enstrom’s third goal of the season at 7:53. Enstrom’s shot from the point was tipped in past Dubnyk by Minnesota winger Nino Niederreiter for the 1-0 lead.
Pominville tied it up just over two minutes later when teammate Zach Parise created a turnover in front of Winnipeg’s net and Pominville fired his shot past Hutchinson at 10:22.
Minnesota didn’t get its first shot on goal until 6:41 of the first period, when the gap became 10-1 in Winnipeg’s favour. The period ended with the Jets outshooting their Central Division rivals 15-8.
Both goalies made some key stops in the second period, with Hutchinson kept busy as the Wild upped their shots on goal to close Winnipeg’s edge 24-21.
Mathieu Perreault assisted on Enstrom’s goal, extending his points streak to three games with one goal and four assists.
Pominville’s unassisted goal was his 11th of the season. He also had a goal in Minnesota’s 5-3 win over Vancouver Monday after going 12 games without finding the back of the net.
The Jets head on the road to play two division rivals this week, starting with Nashville on Thursday and Dallas on Saturday.
The Wild host Florida on Thursday and Carolina on Saturday.