Jets edge Ducks 3-2 in OT to set franchise mark for points
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Kyle Connor simply wanted to get off a shot. He ended up with much more.
”I put a lot of pucks on net and shoot it, just try to get it off quick,” Connor said. ”That was pretty much going through my mind on that rush.”
Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for the Jets (45-19-10), who won their fourth straight to reach the 100-point plateau for the first time. Winnipeg had 99 points in the 2014-15 season before being swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Ducks.
The game was the second straight in which Connor scored the overtime winner. The rookie had both goals in Winnipeg’s 2-1 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
”He’s gotten better and better as the season’s gone on,” Scheifele said of Connor. ”He goes to the right spots. He battles hard in the corner, he goes to the right areas, he goes to the dirty areas. He does everything so well and, obviously, his knack for scoring is top notch.
”He’s been really fun to play with this season. It’s exciting to see him grow like that.”
Scheifele had the second of his two assists in the game on Connor’s shot that beat John Gibson to win it. Blake Wheeler also finished with two assists as the Jets remained unbeaten on their six-game homestand (4-0-0).
”We put a lot at (Gibson) and it seemed like he was making one save after another,” Connor said. ”I thought we played a really good game.”
Nick Ritchie tied it at 2 for Anaheim at 10:17 of the third period. He went in alone on Connor Hellebuyck, who squeezed his pads on the shot, but the puck dropped under him and went over the goal line. Derek Grant also scored for Anaheim, which had its four-game win streak end. The Ducks were playing without captain Ryan Getzlaf after he was scratched with the flu.
”We were very, very fortunate to get out of this game with one point. Simple as that,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. ”Our goaltender stole us a point here tonight.”
Winnipeg had outshot the visitors 41-16 heading into overtime.
Hellebuyck made 16 saves for Winnipeg to pick up his 38th win of the season. Gibson kept his team in the game with some big saves, stopping 39 shots for Anaheim.
”It was a pretty one-sided game,” Ritchie said. ”When we look back at how we played, we’ll definitely take that point and move forward and know that we were pretty bad tonight. We pretty much hung (Gibson) out. He – I don’t know how, but somehow – got us that point.”
Winnipeg had second-year star Patrik Laine back in its lineup. He left Tuesday’s game early in the second period after blocking a shot with his left foot. The initial prognosis for the soft-tissue bruise was he’d miss Friday’s game and likely Sunday’s, but Laine participated in the morning skate and was deemed good to go.
”I think he did really, really good,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. ”I’m going to fire a couple shots off his ankle tomorrow in practice. It will be my shot, so it won’t really hurt him.”
Anaheim used its first power play of the game to go up 1-0 as Grant deflected in a shot by Hampus Lindholm with 14 seconds left in a high-sticking penalty to Joel Armia. Winnipeg responded just 55 seconds later when Ehlers scored his 28th goal of the season with a toe drag and high wrister that beat Gibson at 6:46.
Scheifele picked up the primary assist, extending his points streak to three games since returning from an injury that kept him out for five. Wheeler notched his 63rd assist on the play, stretching his point streak to five games.
The Jets swarmed Gibson for most of the period, outshooting the Ducks 17-4.
Winnipeg went ahead 45 seconds into the second after Wheeler did some nifty stick-handling around Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, then passed it back for Scheifele, who fired a shot in over Gibson’s blocker.
NOTES: Veteran Winnipeg defenseman Toby Enstrom left the game with a lower-body injury, but Maurice didn’t think it was a significant injury.
Ducks: at Edmonton on Sunday.
Jets: hosts Central Division-leading Nashville on Sunday.