Dustin Byfuglien has done it all this season short of strap on the pads for the Winnipeg Jets this season. Tuesday evening he added to his incredible season with an incredibly important overtime winner.
With the Jets and visiting Minnesota Wild tied at one in overtime, Byfuglien read a pass back to the blueline perfectly, deflecting the pass attempt up ice and past a sprawling Marco Scandella. Byfuglien took off down the ice on a 2-on-1 with teammate Blake Wheeler, looked off wheeler, and buried the winner off the pipe and in.
Just how well is the big blueliner/winger playing? The goal – which was scored on Devan Dubnyk, who has been nigh unbeatable with the Wild – was Byfuglien’s 14th of the season, putting him on pace for 21 goals this season which would be the highest total of his career. It also gave him 37 points on the season, which puts him on pace to score over 50 points for the fourth time in five seasons.
With the 2-1 overtime win, the Jets move seven points ahead of the Wild and eight ahead of the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars in the wild-card race. However, Winnipeg has played three games more than Minnesota and Los Angeles, and two more than Dallas. Byfuglien’s goal couldn’t have come at a more important time in the tight Central Division.