ST. PAUL, Minn – With back-to-back games and a home-and-home against the Minnesota Wild right after Christmas, the Winnipeg Jets were being put to the test for sure. The common theme by the Wild is the Jets occupy a spot thee want, the Jets hold down a playoff spot that they want.

This game was an emotional roller coaster as the Jets were down and had the lead twice before finally getting a favorable bounce in overtime for a huge 4-3 win over the Wild on the road. More importantly it gives them a nine-point cushion over the Wild in the standings.

“That was one of the better bounces I’ve ever seen someone get,” Jets forward Bryan Little said. “I mean, off the glass, off the net, off his head … I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Michael Hutchinson got his second consecutive start in the net for the Jets and made 22 saves off 25 shots to get the win. He improves to 9-2-2 on the season.

The Wild started John Curry who was just recalled from Iowa of the AHL, he was in the pipes because Darcy Kuemper who was scheduled to start was sick. Curry has six career NHL appearances. He made 19 saves off 23 shots.

“Not surprised by anything,” Wild forward Zach Parise said. “We have to snap out of this. That’s a team we’re chasing and we need to win these games.”

This was a tight checking game for the most part as these division rivals knew what was at stake as the Wild are chasing down the Jets and need to start gaining ground fast. The Jets had a lot of fans make the trip from Winnipeg and the building sounded like a home game for them. A wild third period saw four goals scored and the teams opened up their offensive games.

Winnipeg got goals from Little his 14th, Adam Lowry his 5th, Blake Wheeler his 11th a shorthanded marker, Andrew Ladd his 12th the OT winner.

“You just try and throw pucks at [Curry], see if he has weaknesses,” Little said. “It’s dangerous sometimes. A guy could be playing his best hockey, he’s nervous, he’s excited. You might look at the scouting report a little bit, but that’s not going to change how you approach the game.”

Minnesota goal scorers were Mikael Granlund his 4th, Jason Pominville his 8th, Thomas Vanek his 6th.

“I think we could have hit the net better,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “For a team that needs results, it’s easy to sit here and try to paint positive pictures, but what we need to do is build our game, and this was a step in the right direction.”

The Jets got big games from Dustin Byfuglien who had an assist and played just under twenty-eight minutes and had a couple big hits. Ladd and Little both had a goal and assists. Ladd took a nasty high stick from Matt Cooke in the third and refused to leave the bench and miss a shift so he got patched up quickly and jumped out and scored the OT winner.

Evander Kane was also buzzing as he had five shots on goal and also had a couple helpers on the night.

These same two teams will meet up again in Winnipeg on Monday night for another huge division game. The Jets are now 19-10-7 on the season and sit in 5th place overall in the Western Conference.

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