Byfuglien's late goal gets Jets past Red Wings
Winnipeg defenceman earns 500th career point in win
Dustin Byfuglien said everything he wanted to say during another win for Winnipeg.
The veteran defenceman got his 500th career point when he snapped a tie with 6:45 left, helping the Jets beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Friday night.
Winnipeg (7-3-1) won for the fourth time in five games. Kyle Connor scored in the second period, and Laurent Brossoit stopped 27 shots.
"I'm pleased to get a 2-1 road win and we don't give anything up five-on-five. Our goalie was good and their goalie was outstanding at times," coach Paul Maurice said. "It was a night you had to battle for every inch and we did a real good job of that."
Byfuglien skated in from the point and beat Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard from the bottom of the right circle. Byfuglien did not talk to reporters after the game.
"He's a great teammate. He brings a lot of energy. He keeps the mood light," Brossoit said. "On the ice, he takes charge. He goes rover sometimes but it gives the other team a bit of unpredictability that they have to deal with."
Howard got some of the shot but the puck dropped into the net.
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"He came in, he got a good shot off, went off my shoulder actually," Howard said. "But then it hit me in the side of the helmet and just dropped in."
It was Byfuglien's second goal of the season.
Andreas Athanasiou scored for Detroit (1-7-2). Howard had 38 saves.
"Good through the first and parts of the third but not very good in the second," Howard said of his team's play.
Red Wings defenceman Mike Green made his season debut after recovering from a virus that attacked his liver.
Connor tied it at 1 with a power-play goal with 3:46 remaining in the middle period. He backhanded a loose puck into an empty net from in front.
It was the fifth goal for Connor, who is a native of the Detroit suburb of Shelby Township.
"It was a good road win. We really came on in the second period and just stuck with it," Connor said. "We kept playing the same game and we got rewarded."
The Jets outshot the Red Wings 21-4 in the second. Howard stopped Bryan Little on a breakaway with 7:38 left and made a spectacular glove save on Little's tip with 4:17 remaining in the period.
Athanasiou's power-play goal gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 4:33 left in the first. He converted a one-time slap shot from the top of the right circle. It was Athanasiou's fourth goal and his second in two games.
Detroit's Gustav Nyquist hit the crossbar early in the game and teammate Darren Helm hit a goal post on a short-handed rush with 2:25 remaining in the opening period.