WINNIPEG — Connor Hellebuyck was one of the veterans showing early signs of pre-season rust on Friday night. Dustin Byfuglien made up for it.
Byfuglien scored his second goal of the game in overtime as the Winnipeg Jets came back to beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 in exhibition action.
"It was the first game a lot of us had played in a long time. You could definitely see it," said Jets captain Blake Wheeler.
The Jets (2-1-0) found themselves down 3-1 midway through the second, but Hellebuyck shook off his slow start and held his team in it as they battled back despite being outshot 35-21 at the end of regulation.
"I thought he warmed up and kind of got stronger, better, made some good saves in the second and then he had a few more that were in tight that were good," coach Paul Maurice said about his goaltender.
Bryan Little tied the game 3-3 with 1:01 to play in the third period, Byfuglien ended it 26 seconds into the extra period.
"We started moving our feet a little bit in the third period," said Wheeler, who also scored.
Brett Pollock scored the opening goal for the Flames (1-3-1). Dillon Dube and Alan Quine had the others.
"I think the pace was good," said Pollock. "We wanted a different outcome for sure."
The mostly young Calgary group had to face some of Winnipeg's top talent and Pollock said they followed their game plan.
"I think all four of our lines did a pretty good job of containing them and making them play D."
The Flames five pre-season games include two just completed in China, as the NHL says it is trying to broaden the game's appeal. Since they took their best overseas, that kept a lot of veterans off the ice Friday.
The odds should have been tilted in Winnipeg's favour, with the debut of forwards Wheeler, last season's top Jets' scorer, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor, as well as 2017-18 Vezina runner-up Hellebuyck in goal.
The Flames scored first when Pollock flipped one over Hellebuyck's right shoulder for his first goal of the pre-season in his second game.
Connor almost put the Jets on the board, but with no time left on the clock, at the end of the first.
Dube capitalized on Calgary's first power play of the game, a 5-on-3, with a wrister at 3:36 of the second, but Wheeler finally found a hole in Tyler Parson's glove at 6:53 to make it 2-1.
Parsons, with only one pro season under his belt, was solid in his third pre-season game for Calgary.
But he had help, with the Jets managing only 11 shots by the end of the second to 23 for the Flames. The Flames outshot the Jets 14-3 in the second period alone.
Quine extended Calgary's lead once more with his wrister through traffic at 11:21.
But Byfuglien gave fans something to cheer about before the period ended with a sharp-angle shot from Parson's glove side that narrowed the lead once more at 16:34 to 3-2.
Netminder Jeff Glass made his pre-season debut for the Flames in the third and gave up the tying goal at 18:59, when a perfectly placed Little slammed one in from right in front of the net, finally capitalizing on a power-play chance.
Scott Edmonds, The Canadian Press