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Schmidt’s late tally lifts Jets past Habs in preseason action

It was the literal break the Winnipeg Jets needed to capture their second straight win of the postseason.

In the waning minutes of a tie game, Nate Schmidt’s blast from the point shattered the stick of Evgenii Dadonov and fluttered past Cayden Primeau to give the visitors a 4-3 win in Montreal Thursday night.

The Canadiens opened the scoring just over five minutes into the first when Kaiden Guhle sniped one past David Rittich.

But the Jets answered later in the frame when Manitoba Moose product Evan Polei got on the board.

As can be expected in a preseason tilt, especially one in which many of the players are unlikely to make their NHL club’s roster, there were long stretches on uneventful hockey.

Such was the case until late in the second when Polei’s Moose teammate Cole Maier tucked one past Primeau on a wrap-around to give Winnipeg a 2-1 advantage after two.

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Montreal had only ten shots through 40 minutes but took over the game in the third thanks to special teams play.

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After Logan Stanley and Kirby Dach were sent to the box, Kyle Capobianco took a double-minor for high sticking, his third penalty of the night. That gave Montreal a 4-on-3 advantage, and they made the most of it.

Brendan Gallagher tied the game just past the midway point, batting a bouncing puck past Arvid Holm after the goalie made a number of high-quality saves in the period.

Less than two minutes later, and still on the power play, Cole Caufield ripped one past Holm to hand Montreal the 3-2 lead.

It seemed as though there would be no denying the Habs the win, but out of nowhere the Jets had the game tied with just 3:29 left.

Dadanov misplayed a puck near his own blueline, putting it right on the stick of Brad Lambert who beat Primeau on what was Winnipeg’s second shot of the period. It was a great release from the 18-year-old playing in his first preseason game.

Most observers figured the game was destined for overtime until Schmidt’s goal with 17 seconds remaining gave the Jets the win.

Montreal outshot the Jets 15-6 in the final 20 minutes but both sides took 25 shots in the game.

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The Jets return home to face the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night after the statue of Dale Hawerchuk is unveiled at True North Square.