Adam Lowry is flashing some unexpected offence early in the 2021 NHL season.
The towering Winnipeg centre, known more for his command of defensive responsibilities, jammed in his third goal of the year midway through the first period of the Jets’ eventual 4-3 defeat to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night.
Lowry, positioned between Mathieu Perreault and Mason Appleton on the third line, deposited the puck past goalie Mikko Koskinen at 10:41 to open the scoring after some dogged work down low by his wingers.
Understandably, Lowry wasn’t in the mood to celebrate scoring, following a last-second loss. And he liked neither his defensive job against the fast-skating Oilers, nor his work at the faceoff dot — winning just six of 16 draws.
“It feels good. But a goal and minus two… it’s tough, you want to contribute but I didn’t win faceoffs and couldn’t keep the puck out of our net,” Lowry said. “I lost a couple key draws at the end and we weren’t able to get the kill. It’s nice to get points but it’s just better to win games, I guess.”
He had just four goals in 49 games during the abbreviated 2019-21 season.
Finding the back of the net during his final season with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League wasn’t much of a conundrum for Lowry, who fired 45 goals during the 2012-13 campaign, a year after the Jets drafted him in the third round.
His role in Winnipeg has been vastly dissimilar, with a primary focus on prevention, yet he’s commonly in commotions around the opposing net and gets his fair share of looks. Case in point was a couple of quality chances in the final frame, although he couldn’t convert.
The game opener was also just the 60th goal in his 414th game of a career now into its seventh season.
But three tallies in six contests is, indeed, a solid start.
Jet goalie Laurent Brossoit said offensive contributions from less-likely sources is invaluable, and takes pressure off usual point-producers such as Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor.
“That’s the way to build a team that will go deep in a playoff series, those are the type of teams you want to build. You want to build four lines up,” he said. “When you have guys like Lows, Copper (Andrew Copp) producing and being part of the offence, that’s not necessarily their job but it’s a great sign for a united team.”
Assistant sports editor
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