WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Dustin Byfuglien brings a lot more than size and strength to the Winnipeg Jets. The 6-foot-5 defenseman also has eight goals this season — and his latest was a big one.
Byfuglien scored at 1:23 of overtime to help the Jets continue their hunt for a playoff berth with a season-high fifth straight victory, 4-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.
Byfuglien beat Justin Peters off a rebound from a shot by Andrew Ladd, who finished with three assists for the Jets.
"Ladd was by himself and I just jumped up," said Byfuglien, who has 25 points this season. "I think he shot it off that pad on purpose and I got the rebound."
Alexander Semin tied it 3-3 with 1:12 left in regulation with Peters on the bench for an extra attacker, beating Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec on the glove side.
Blake Wheeler had a goal and two assists, and Zach Bogosian and Paul Postma also scored for the Jets, who are ninth in the Eastern Conference but moved within two points of the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals.
Washington, which lost 3-1 to Ottawa, has 50 points. The Jets and New York Rangers are tied with 48, but the Rangers have played one fewer game and currently own the eighth and final playoff spot. New York beat Florida 6-1 on Thursday night.
Tuomo Ruutu scored a pair of goals and Jordan Staal had two assists for Carolina.
"I thought we had a really good push at the end," Ruutu said. "It's too bad that we couldn't get the win tonight."
The Jets, whose win streak is the team's longest since they relocated to Winnipeg before last season, host the New York Islanders on Saturday in another key matchup. The Islanders are in seventh place in the East, three points ahead of the Jets.
"The next two points are huge for us and we've just got to take it a game at a time," said Bogosian, who has six points in his last three games, including five assists. "We can't worry about other teams or what streaks we have going on."