WINNIPEG—Connor Hellebuyck didn't let an early two-goal deficit rattle him. It was just the opposite.
The Winnipeg Jets' goalie buckled down until his teammates fought back, with Bryan Little scoring the deciding goal in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers last night.
“I've played enough hockey and I know if [the opponents] get a couple of early ones, it's time to go into shutdown mode,” Hellebuyck said.
“Just hold everything and calm the game down, and sooner or later we'll get our legs under us, just like we did.”
Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine also scored for Winnipeg in the shootout while the Flyers got goals in the breakaway contest from Jakub Voracek and Jordan Weal.
Hellebuyck stopped 30 shots in regulation and overtime and now is 10-1-2 on the season.
It was Winnipeg's third-straight victory and boosted the team's record to 11-4-3.
Voracek and Sean Couturier had first-period goals for the Flyers (8-8-3), who were coming off back-to-back shutout losses to Minnesota.
The pair also had an assist each while Brian Elliott made 31 saves.
Scheifele tied the game 2-2 with 49 seconds left in the third and Hellebucyck pulled for an extra attacker.
“Forty seconds left, we let one in. It's tough,” Elliott said.
“The goal we give up, it's one face-off in the offensive zone and it turns into a 2-on-1, and those are the things that bite you in the butt.”
Blake Wheeler made a pass out to the front of the net for Scheifele to net his team-leading 11th goal of the season.
Laine picked up an assist to extend his points streak to seven games (five goals and three assists).
“A real positive thing is that on the nights you don't have it, your goaltender plays great,” Wheeler said.
“You've got guys stepping up and putting their face in front of pucks, and give us just enough time to tie it up to get the one point and then the boys had some dangle in the shootout,” he added.
“Great job to gut it out.”
Mathieu Perreault returned to the ice after missing 12 games with a lower-body injury and scored for Winnipeg at 13:05 of the second period.
It came after he took an unexpected shot in first period.
As players went into the corner behind Elliott, Perreault fell to his knees along the goal-line after getting tangled up with Flyers' defenceman Radko Gudas.
Gudas went off balance and then slashed his stick just below Perreault's neck.
He got a slashing major and game misconduct while Perreault was assessed a high-sticking minor.
“He got the meaty part of the neck," Perreault said of Gudas. ”It could have been worse, I guess.
“He apologized in the penalty box but when you look at the replay, it looks like he did it on purpose,” he added.
“It wasn't an accident," Perreault stressed. ”He's been known for doing stuff like that so I certainly don't appreciate it.
“I'm sure the league will take care of it.”
The Flyers finished 1-for-5 with the man advantage while the Jets were 1-for-7.
Flyers' rookie centre Nolan Patrick, the No. 2 pick in this year's NHL draft, got to play in his hometown after sitting out the past nine games with a concussion.
He had 7:58 of ice time and only 26 seconds on the power play.
Philadelphia winger Dale Weise also is from Winnipeg.
“He was sharp, he was strong on the puck,” Flyers' coach Dave Hakstol said of Patrick.
“For not being in the lineup and coming into a pretty heavy game tonight, I thought he played a good hockey game.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Toronto edged New Jersey 1-0 (OT), Arizona topped Montreal 5-4, Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 3-1, St. Louis downed Edmonton 4-1, and Vegas dumped Vancouver 5-2.
Minnesota beat Nashville 6-4, the N.Y. Islanders upended Carolina 6-4, Tampa Bay dumped Dallas 6-1, Colorado downed Washington 6-2, Florida blanked San Jose 2-0, and Boston nipped L.A. 2-1.