WINNIPEG - Dustin Byfuglien can't remember scoring a bigger goal in a Winnipeg Jets uniform.
That's because the big man on the blueline hasn't produced one, until now.
In a game that was filled with highlight-reel hits, with a couple of blunders mixed in, Byfuglien got to end the evening with a big smile on his face after depositing the game-winner at 1:23 of overtime to propel the Jets to a critical 4-3 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes before a relieved crowd of 15,004 at MTS Centre on Thursday night.
Yes, Byfuglien was caught flat-footed and didn’t tie up the stick of Alexander Semin when the Hurricanes forward knocked in a rebound of his own at 18:48 of the third period to send the game to overtime.
But Byfuglien shook off the miscue and didn’t let it bother him as the game went to an extra period.
When the time came to join the rush with Andrew Ladd to make it a 2-on-1, Byfuglien drove to the far post and was quick to knock in the loose puck in for his eighth goal of the campaign, sending the hometown crowd into a frenzy as the Jets won a season-high fifth consecutive game.
“It’s probably right up there,” said Byfuglien. “I just jumped up and I think he shot it off that pad on purpose and I got the rebound. I thought he would pass but it’s probably easier for him to shoot. Thank God it went in. Anytime you can get two points, it’s big. As long as we get our two, we should be happy.”