Byfuglien scores late to give Jets 5-4 victory over Sharks
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice was in no mood to acknowledge the consolation of a season-best three-game winning streak with his team eliminated from the playoffs.
''It's good we battled back from being down, 3-1,'' Maurice said after Dustin Byfuglien's goal in the final 10 seconds lifted the Jets to a 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. ''There's less intensity in these games, so I'm not going to get excited about a three-game winning streak. It doesn't say anything about this team.''
Blake Wheeler, who set a career high with points in his 10th straight, currently the longest active streak in the NHL, was a little more tactful.
''We have guys who love to compete and we get to do it one more time before next year,'' he said. ''We moved it well, caught them out of position a few times, got behind them and got a couple of good bounces.''
Mark Scheifele had two goals for the Jets, who had won two straight 10 times before finally breaking through. Andrew Copp and Wheeler also scored for the Jets. Ondrej Pavelec saved 21 of 25 shots and improved to 4-0-2 over his past six games.
Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Paul Martin scored for the Sharks, who lost for the second time in their last six. Martin Jones stopped 21 of 26 shots.
''At the end of the day, we made it a little weird on ourselves,'' Pavelski said. ''They're a team, when you feed their rush, they've got players that can make the plays. We fed that a little bit too much.''
Pavelski gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, finding an opening after Thornton picked up a deflection and pushed it to Pavelski on the right side of the crease.
Scheifele tied it with a power-play goal midway through the second period. He threw the puck across the front of the net and it bounced off Roman Polek's skate and past Jones.
Thornton scored on a power play three minutes later and Martin gave the Sharks a 3-1 edge with just under five minutes to go in the second.
Copp scored with an assist from Byfuglien to make 3-2, and Wheeler tied it a minute later.
Marleau put the Sharks back in front 7:03 into the third, but Scheifele's second goal of the game at 12:02 made it 4-4.
''Obviously we want to win these games, but it can be tough at times to get up for the games,'' Jones said. ''But I thought we did a lot of good things.''
NOTES: Brent Burns was named the Sharks Foundation's ''Sharks Player of the Month'' for March. ... Thornton took over sole possession of 28th place on the all-time points lists (1,340) with his first-period assist. He has recorded a goal and an assist in the same game 12 times. ... Scheifele has at least one point in 19 of his past 23 games. ... Marleau has 26 points in 23 games against the Jets. ... Copp has three goals in his last seven games after scoring three in his first 56.