May 27, 2018

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Winnipeg Jets (52 – 20 – 10)

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NHL fines Byfuglien for wicked goal-saving slash

Dustin Byfuglien got whacked in the wallet for a wicked slash that likely helped the Winnipeg Jets escape with a dramatic come-from-behind victory Tuesday night.

Byfuglien was fined US$5,000 — the maximum allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement — by the NHL’s player safety department for his two-hander on Washington Capitals fourth-line centre Jay Beagle with just 1:17 left in the game and the Jets trailing 3-2.

With Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Beagle was carrying the puck through the neutral zone when he was slashed across the lower leg and then across the midsection. He bent over in obvious pain and let the puck slip away, and Byfuglien was handed a two-minute minor.

Just over a minute later, Jets centre Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the game — a short-handed tally with Hellebuyck on the bench — to knot the game 3-3.

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Dustin Byfuglien got whacked in the wallet for a wicked slash that likely helped the Winnipeg Jets escape with a dramatic come-from-behind victory Tuesday night.

Byfuglien was fined US$5,000 — the maximum allowable under the league’s collective bargaining agreement — by the NHL’s player safety department for his two-hander on Washington Capitals fourth-line centre Jay Beagle with just 1:17 left in the game and the Jets trailing 3-2.

Jay Beagle leaves the ice after being slashed by Dustin Byfuglien. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)</p>

Jay Beagle leaves the ice after being slashed by Dustin Byfuglien. (Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press)

With Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck on the bench in favour of an extra attacker, Beagle was carrying the puck through the neutral zone when he was slashed across the lower leg and then across the midsection. He bent over in obvious pain and let the puck slip away, and Byfuglien was handed a two-minute minor.

Just over a minute later, Jets centre Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the game — a short-handed tally with Hellebuyck on the bench — to knot the game 3-3.

The Jets killed off the rest of the penalty during the extra session, and then Scheifele set up defenceman Tyler Myers’ game-winner at 2:35 of OT.

Washington coach Barry Trotz clearly wasn’t pleased after the game.

"It’s a tough way to lose points, we should have sealed the deal. I thought we should have been on the power play the whole time in overtime," he said, inferring Byfuglien deserved a five-minute major penalty.

"I thought the penalty was warranted on the first slash for two minutes... the referee’s arm went up and... the second slash on Beagle. That was not a hockey play."

Washington rookie defenceman Madison Bowey was also fined US$1,890.68 for a hit earlier in the game on Jets centre Matt Hendricks.

Bowey, a 22-year-old from Winnipeg, levelled Hendricks with a blindside hit at 7:11 of the second period. Hendricks left the ice and went to the club’s "quiet room" as part of the league’s concussion protocol. He did not return.

"He’s getting checked out. It’s not diagnosed," Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said in his post-game meeting with reporters. "You saw the hit, but we don’t have it as a concussion, yet. (Hendricks) doesn’t believe he is (concussed). He’s feeling pretty good right now, so we’ll reassess (Wednesday) morning."

The club didn’t update his condition Wednesday.

The Jets didn’t practise Wednesday, but held their annual skills competition at Bell MTS Place. The team, second in the Central Division and trailing the Nashville Predators by two points, is back on the ice today in preparation for a visit by the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

jason.bell@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @WFPJasonBell

Read more by Jason Bell.

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History

Updated on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 11:20 PM CST: fixes typo

February 15, 2018 at 7:29 AM: Edited

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