At least the Edmonton Oilers won’t have to wait long for another crack at the Winnipeg Jets.
After suffering a 5-2 defeat Tuesday night in Winnipeg to cap a five-game trip, the Oilers return home Thursday to meet the Jets.
“Any time you lose, you want the opportunity to play that opponent again and get a better result than the time before,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. “It’s a good opportunity to come back home and make our push.”
The Jets built a 4-0 lead through two periods Tuesday and held on despite two power-play tallies by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl early in the third period. Draisaitl led the NHL with 17 goals entering Wednesday.
Connor McDavid assisted on both goals, extending his season-opening point streak to 15 games (10 goals, 19 assists).
“You get down 4-0, that’s a hard game to chase,” Oilers coach Dave Tippett said. “We got a couple of power-play goals there to get us back around it but just not enough juice to our group right now. We need to get home and get a day of rest.”
Adam Lowry, Nikolaj Ehlers, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor scored for Winnipeg and Josh Morrissey had two assists. Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves.
“I think we really controlled all three ends. We didn’t search for more,” said Hellebuyck, who improved to 6-0-2 over his past eight games. “I think the third, we let off the gas just a little bit, or they pushed hard because they’re a good team, one of the two. I thought, as a team and as a whole, we got back into our details and didn’t let them have anything they shouldn’t get.”
The second Edmonton goal was initially waved off because of goaltender interference, but the call was reversed after a video review.
Not surprisingly, Hellebuyck disagreed.
“Maybe if I had a chance to move or if (Jesse) Puljujarvi, I think is the guy who got knocked into me, he definitely got pushed a little bit,” Hellebuyck said. “My problem is he didn’t try to get out.”
Dubois’ power-play goal midway through the second period, on a back-door pass from Morrissey, gave the Jets a 3-0 lead and snapped a streak of four straight games in which they had failed to score with the man-advantage.
“We call him J-Movechkin, because he’s got that one-timer,” Dubois said of Morrissey. “I’m sure when teams are doing video and see his shot there, his one-timer from the top circle, you’ve got to respect it. So, every now and then he (makes) a pass … he made a really nice play.”
The Jets moved to the top of the Central Division standings while knocking the Oilers out of first in the Pacific. Edmonton went 2-3-0 on its trip, which also included stops in Detroit, Boston, Buffalo and St. Louis.
“We wanted more out of this road trip,” Nurse said. “For us, we got to get back home, get our energy back and get right back on the horse. It’s not like we have a lot of time to sit back and relax. We’re back in it (Thursday). We’ll be hungry to get back on home ice and play the right way.”
–Field Level Media