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WINNIPEG, Manitoba – Even though they're out of the playoff picture, Mark Scheifele and the Winnipeg Jets are still fighting hard to play spoiler.
Dustin Byfuglien tied the score with 12 seconds left in regulation and assisted on Scheifele's 30th goal this season at 3:34 of overtime, rallying the Jets to a 4-3 victory over the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
"There's still things to play for," said Scheifele, who has 30 goals for the first time in his four-year NHL career. "Obviously, the playoffs are out of reach but there's still lot of things to fight for. Guys fight for jobs, guys showing what they're made of, and they definitely showed it tonight."
Winnipeg scored twice in the final 8:25 of the third period to pull even. Following a coach's challenge by Randy Carlyle of the Ducks, it was determined that Byfuglien's jam job in the crease was indeed a good goal.
Joel Armia and captain Blake Wheeler also scored in regulation for Winnipeg.
"We didn't give up. (We) stayed doing what we needed to do and got a couple breaks to go our way," Wheeler said.
"It's probably hard for you to understand how difficult this is to go through again at a time like this. The fact we're winning hockey games at this time of year with nothing to play for says a lot about the group that we have, the guys that we have."
Corey Perry scored twice but the Ducks had their five-game winning streak snapped. Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Pacific Division leaders.
"We didn't play for the full 60 minutes," Perry said. "You take your foot off the gas in this league, you're going to get burnt. You can't sit back and receive a hockey game, and we did that in the final frame."
Anaheim goalie Jonathan Bernier turned away 37 shots, his latest quality performance since taking over the starting job from John Gibson.
Bernier has been rock solid in March, leading all NHL goaltenders in wins. The 28-year-old is 10-1-2 this month, entering Winnipeg with a .946 save percentage and 1.65 goals-against average — both good for third in the NHL in March.
"I'm just focusing game by game," Bernier said. "There's five games left in the season now and I want to really make sure that I'm fresh and at the same time mentally I'm ready to go for Game 1 (of the playoffs)."
Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves for Winnipeg, improving to 8-12-3 in his 19th start of the season.
Silfverberg opened the scoring at 8:17 of the first, whipping a wrist shot from the faceoff dot over Hutchinson's glove for his 22nd of the season.
The Jets got the equalizer at 11:54 when Armia scored his second short-handed goal in two games — and fourth of the season — with an impressive individual effort. He regained the puck after carrying it into the Ducks zone and beat an unsuspecting Bernier low with a quick shot for his 10th goal of the season.
Perry put the Ducks back in front with 1:04 remaining in the period, then added his second of the game and 18th of the season on the power play at 7:01 of the second.
Wheeler brought the Jets back within a goal with his 24th of the season with 8:25 remaining in the third.
Anaheim clinched a playoff berth Tuesday night for the fifth consecutive season — the only Pacific Division team to do so. The Ducks have reached the postseason 10 of the last 12 years.
Winners of six of their last eight games, the Jets, who were eliminated from playoff contention Monday with the St. Louis Blues' 4-1 win over the Arizona, captured a third straight victory following a pair of one-goal wins over Vancouver and in New Jersey.
NOTES: Anaheim has five games remaining on its regular-season schedule. ... Winnipeg has four games remaining.
Ducks: At the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and Calgary Flames on Sunday to complete a four-game road trip.
Jets: Host the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.