The last thing the Winnipeg Jets expected was to have to settle things in a shootout — not after the way they started out against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Mathieu Perreault, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler scored on Winnipeg's first three shots against Jonathan Quick during a 3-minute span, but didn't secure their 5-4 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champions until Little got the only goal in the fourth round of the tiebreaker and Michael Hutchinson stopped Mike Richards at the other end.
"Our last game in here at the start of the season, we were down and chasing the game the whole night," coach Paul Maurice said. "I didn't like parts of the second period tonight, but it's tough to win on the road. So this was a good win for the hockey club."
Zach Bogosian scored the tying goal in the third period to end a 41-game drought going back almost a year. Hutchinson gave up goals on two of the first five shots he faced, but finished with 25 saves in regulation and overtime.
"There were a couple of crazy bounces tonight, but we got the start that we were looking for," said the 24-year-old rookie, who allowed more than three goals for the first time in 16 starts this season. "We got a few goals early and that really helped our energy throughout the rest of the game. After that, we took a couple of penalties and they were able to capitalize on their power play."
Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Marian Gaborik and Kyle Clifford scored for the Kings, who have lost three straight and five of six. Quick, who has given up 15 goals in his last three starts, stopped 21 of Winnipeg's final 22 shots before the shootout.
The Kings are 19-13-10 a year after going 25-13-4 over their first 42 games en route to their second Stanley Cup title in three seasons. They began their 2011-12 championship campaign 20-15-7 over the same stretch.
"You can't give up four goals and expect to win a hockey game. That's what it comes down to," defenceman Alec Martinez said. "If we keep on having first-period starts like we've had and digging ourselves a hole, it's going to be pretty difficult on us."
Gaborik tied the score 3-all at 1:29 of the third on a rebound for his team-high 13th goal after Kopitar intercepted the goalie's attempted clearing pass at the left boards and quickly shot it toward the net. But Bogosian beat Quick through a screen on a wrist shot with 5:56 left in regulation — his first goal since Jan. 31, 2014.
Perreault opened the scoring at 3:39 of the first period when Michael Frolik shrugged off a hard check behind from Matt Greene against the end boards and fed Perreault in front for his 11th goal. Quick surrendered a soft one to Little 52 seconds later on a short wrist shot.
The Jets, 0 for 7 on the power play in Thursday's 4-1 loss at Phoenix, connected the first time they had the man advantage to make it 3-0. Wheeler was credited with his 12th goal when his centring pass in tight quarters bounced in off Kings centre Trevor Lewis at 6:39.
"We finally got off to the start we wanted. We caught some lucky bounces," Adam Lowry said. "On the third goal, we were fortunate to get it. But then we took some more penalties again and let them back in the game."
Clifford changed the momentum significantly with a thunderous hit on Anthony Peluso behind the Winnipeg net at 8:20 of the first, resulting in a power play that the Kings were able to kill off.
Dustin Byfuglien then got an interference penalty and Lowry was assessed a delay-of-game infraction 26 seconds later for clearing the puck over the glass, resulting in power-play goals by Kopitar and Williams 1:27 apart to pull the Kings to 3-2 with 4:02 left in the first.
Jeff Carter lifted a backhander over Hutchinson's glove on a breakaway at 3:31 of the second when he after stealing the puck from Byfuglien inside the Kings' blueline.
The Kings are 0-3 on a seven-game homestand. Los Angeles hasn't lost four in a row on the same homestand since the middle of the 2010-11 season.
NOTES: Kings C Tyler Toffoli missed his first game of the season because of mononucleosis. ... Quick gave up at least four goals in a game for the ninth time this season, something he did just six times in 49 games last season. ... The Jets' two-day stay in Southern California will conclude Sunday, when the Anaheim Ducks retire Teemu Selanne's No. 8 jersey. Selanne began his 21-year NHL career with the old Winnipeg Jets, who became the Coyotes. These Jets used to be the Atlanta Thrashers. ... Winnipeg's next victory will be Paul Maurice's 500th as an NHL head coach. Maurice guided the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002. ... The Kings are 7-0-3 against the Thrashers/Jets franchise since it joined the NHL in the 1999-00 season.