The Winnipeg Jets managed to shut down the high-flying Edmonton Oilers Sunday, skating away with a 1-0 shootout victory at Bell MTS Place.
Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine scored in the skills competition, while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid were turned away by Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 28 shots in regulation and overtime for his first shutout of the season.
Hellebuyck’s night included stopping McDavid, the NHL’s leading scorer, on a breakaway during a wildly entertaining three-on-three overtime session.
Winnipeg snaps a three-game losing streak, all on home ice, to improve to 5-5-0 on the year. Edmonton falls to 7-1-1.
The Jets thought they had grabbed the lead in regulation time as defenceman Carl Dahlstrom scored what would have been his first NHL goal with 11:33 left in the third period, off a great pass from Patrik Laine. But there was just one problem: Mark Scheifele was offside. The Oilers successfully challenged the play, and the goal was washed out.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 21, 2019
That’s just the way it’s been lately for Winnipeg, who have now gone 238:13 since they last scored a five-on-five goal, courtesy of Mathieu Perreault just 1:47 into last Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. In the nearly 12 periods since, Winnipeg has only scored four times, all on the power play. Not including the shootout tallies, of course.
This was Edmonton’s only visit to Winnipeg, and a sold-out crowd likely expected a bit more action from a pair of offensively-gifted teams. But both sides appeared to be committed to defensive detail on this night, and it showed,
The Oilers had a couple dangerous early chances. Ethan Bear rang one off Hellebuyck’s shoulder, and then Matt Benning nearly bounced one in off Neal Pionk.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg didn’t register its first shot of the night until just past the eight minute mark, a harmless wrister off the stick of Bryan Little, who was playing his first game of the season after missing the first nine with a concussion.
Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jack Roslovic all had good looks in the opening period but fired wide, a common theme in this case. Consider: The Jets only had two shots on goal through 20 minutes, with another six shot attempts missing the net and five others blocked.
The Oilers came into the game with the best power play in the NHL, while the Jets had the league’s worst penalty kill. However, Winnipeg survived a pair of infractions on the night to Tucker Poolman and Little.
Meanwhile, the Jets looked dangerous on four power plays of their own, generating a dozen total shots but no goals. One of those penalties went to McDavid, who went after Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler after he threw a big hit on Patrick Russell.
The Jets managed to keep Edmonton’s big three offensive weapons in check. McDavid and Draisaitl sit first and third in NHL scoring, while James Neal is tied for the league-lead with nine goals.
Winnipeg also reversed a recent trend at Bell MTS Place, which has been a house of horrors for the home team. The Jets began the night just 1-9-0 in their past 10 games and outscored 41-20 dating back to last season, not including exhibition action.
It’s also been a rough stretch of hockey at the downtown rink, with the Jets and Moose going a combined 0-7-0 over the last nine days heading into Sunday’s game.
Winnipeg wraps up the local part of this homestand on Tuesday night with a visit from the Los Angeles Kings. They will then be the home team on Saturday night in Regina when they face the Calgary Flames at Mosaic Stadium in the Heritage Classic.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.
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