It wasn’t very pretty, but a win, is a win, is a win, and the Winnipeg Jets will take them anyway they can get them.
The Jets built up an early three-goal lead and barely escaped with a 6-5 victory over the red hot Edmonton Oilers in a score fest on Monday at Rogers Place.
The Jets let a 4-1 lead slip away thanks to a wild, six-goal, back-and-forth second period. The Oilers battled all the way back to get on even terms three minutes into the third period, but Blake Wheeler answered back only minutes later, and the captains’ goal stood up as the game winner.
The Jets gave up a ton of scoring chances as they were outshot 45-24, probably shaving a few years of the life of head coach Paul Maurice.
“That’s a perfect example of why coaches years, and dog years are the same,” said Maurice. “The lives lost on the bench tonight between Dave Tippett and myself. It was not a particularly well played game. I think we can all agree on that, except the skill level in parts of that was so extreme. If you had fans in the building – that was a roller coaster for everybody.”
Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists to extend his point streak to seven games. And he wasn’t about to dwell on the fact the Jets surrendered five goals, and almost squandered a three-goal lead.
“Pretty happy,” Scheifele said. “We got the win. So there’s nothing else to think about. There’s things we want to tighten up, but all-in-all we got the win. That’s what we come here for is to get two points, and we got that, so that’s really all that matters.”
Kyle Connor, Mason Appleton, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Mathieu Perreault had the other markers for Winnipeg.
Alex Chiasson and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored twice for Edmonton in the loss. Kailer Yamamoto had the other tally for the Oilers.
For the most part, the Jets managed to keep the Oilers’ dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in check. McDavid had two assists, but Draisaitl was kept off the scoresheet entirely.
“We stuck to the plan,” Pionk said. “Obviously it wasn’t a great night for us – a little bit sloppy. But we started to simplify, chip pucks in, and just make those little short passes.”
The Oilers had won six of their previous seven games.
Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 40 of 45 shots.
Mike Smith made only seven saves before exiting the game in the second period. Mikko Koskinen had 11 stops in a relief appearance.
New acquisition Pierre-Luc Dubois missed a second straight game with an injury. Forward Jansen Harkins returned to the lineup after a four game absence. The Jets went back to a traditional roster of twelve forwards and six defencemen as Logan Stanley came out of the lineup.
The Jets and Oilers renew acquaintances on Wednesday with the rematch at Rogers Place.
You can hear the game live on 680 CJOB with puck drop at 9:00 pm.