Adam Lowry can say the first game-winning goal of his career, at the very least, staved off playoff elimination for one more game.
Michael Hutchinson made 28 saves and Lowry scored a third-period power-play goal to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
Lowry scored the eventual winner with 8:13 to go in the third period to keep the Jets still mathematically in playoff contention, albeit hanging on by a string.
It was the first winner in Lowry’s three-year NHL career and it kept the Jets’ tragic number standing at one, with a loss or a St. Louis win the rest of the way closing the door on the post-season.
For now, however, Lowry can enjoy the heroics.
“It’s always nice to score goals at crucial times. At this time of the year, it’s still fun to win,” Lowry said. “We’re still trying to put our best foot forward in the game.”
Mathieu Perreault also scored for Winnipeg (34-35-7), which was playing its second straight game without defenceman Dustin Byfuglien (lower-body injury) and was also without rookie sensation Patrik Laine, who was a late scratch with an illness.
Perreault extended his point streak to six games, a span in which he has four goals and 11 points.
Lowry’s goal came moments after Hutchinson stopped the Canucks’ Sven Baertschi on a shorthanded 2-on-1 breakaway and Blake Wheeler led the offensive transition the other way. Perreault wound up with the puck, made a nifty move down low and fed Lowry in the left face-off circle where he fired a wrist shot over Miller.
“The D-man kinda gave me the lane to the net, so I took it and the goalie made a good save there,” Baertschi said on his missed opportunity. “I tried to pick a corner but he made a good save and obviously it went the other way right away.”