Inconsistency again hurts Coyotes in loss to Jets
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Winnipeg Jets’ young top line keeps racking up points.
Winnipeg forwards Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine and center Mark Scheifele combined for three points — giving the trio 26 in the past four games — as Jets beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Thursday night.
Ehlers scored at 16:46 of the third period with a fluky assist from Laine, as a failed clearance glanced off the rookie’s body to Ehlers. Scheifele logged an assist in the first period and has 10 assists and 19 points in 15 games this season.
Blake Wheeler and Andrew Copp also scored goals, and the Jets won for the third time in four games and have earned at least a point in four of five.
"They’re pretty skilled. You look up and down that line and there’s a lot of skill," Copp said of the first line. "Each one of them can shoot the puck. They’ve been doing really well for us putting the puck in the net."
Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck, making his fourth straight start, made 23 saves, offsetting Louis Domingue’s 24 for the Coyotes.
Ehlers sealed the win after Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson tried to shoot the puck up ice from behind his own net. It hit Laine before Ehlers put it away for his 12th point of the season.
Tobias Rieder scored for Arizona with 1.2 seconds to play, but the Coyotes ran out of time.
"They raised the level of their game and we didn’t match it," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Our execution from the start of the second period on was not what it needs to be to give you a chance to win.
"We made some crucial errors and they finally capitalized on the one that Oliver made," he added.
The Jets had only three shots in the first period.
The Coyotes answered Copp’s goal at 9:48 when Jordan Martinook dug the puck out of the boards behind the net with two defenders nearby, sending it to Radim Vrbata for a goal from right of the face-off circle.
Vrbata has five goals on the season and 104 points in 159 career games in November, his highest point total of any month.
The Jets had two 2-minute power plays and failed to score on both. But one second after the second power play ended, Wheeler’s shot beat Domingue off a pass from Nic Petan at 10:18.
The goal was Wheeler’s fourth of the season.
"Didn’t really have our best game and found a way to win," Wheeler said.
Max Domi assisted on Rieder’s goal, giving him 21 points in his last 21 home games. Coyotes captain Shane Doan also assisted on that goal and is one assist from tying Thomas Steen for the Coyotes’ franchise record of 553.
NOTES: The NHL fined Ekman-Larsson $2,000 as supplementary punishment for two embellishment calls against him in two games over the past two weeks. … C Dylan Strome and D Kevin Connauton were scratched for the Coyotes. D Michael Stone also did not play, and has been dealing with an upper body injury that has limited him to only four games. … D Mark Stuart (lower body injury), D Jacob Trouba and C Mathieu Perreault (upper body) were the Jets’ scratches. … This was the first of three meetings this season between the teams. … Pro golfer Jesper Parnevik attended Thursday’s game and howled over a microphone for the crowd.
Jets: At Colorado on Friday night.
Coyotes: Host Boston on Saturday night.
- Andrew Copp
- Arizona Coyotes
- Blake Wheeler
- Connor Hellebuyck
- Dylan Strome
- FOX Sports Arizona
- FOX Sports Arizona - Coyotes
- Jacob Trouba
- Jordan Martinook
- Kevin Connauton
- Louis Domingue
- Mark Scheifele
- Mark Stuart
- Mathieu Perreault
- Michael Stone
- Nikolaj Ehlers
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson
- Patrik Laine
- Radim Vrbata
- Tobias Rieder
- Winnipeg Jets