Jets send Oilers packing with Kyle Connor triple OT winner, complete sweep

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores the game-winning goal on Edmonton Oilers’ goaltender Mike Smith (41) during third overtime period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

It took until 1:05 a.m. and required six periods of playoff hockey but nonetheless, Kyle Connor sent the Oilers home packing 6:52 into triple overtime.

With a 4-3 win in game four the Jets collect their first playoff sweep in franchise history.

Mark Scheifele (2), Mason Appleton and Kyle Connor found twine for Winnipeg.

Click to play video: 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Connor & Wheeler Interview – May 24'
RAW: Winnipeg Jets Connor & Wheeler Interview – May 24

Connor Hellebuyck made 37 saves while allowing three goals, starting in back-to-back games for the first time all season.

Story continues below advertisement

“I feel like I’ve been saying this all year, that this team and these guys can do everything,” said the Jets’ goaltender following the win.

“If we need to shut down a game, we shut down a game. If we need to score, we score. If we need to come back with 10 minutes left in the third, we do that. Just being behind these guys, it’s been a pleasure and it’s fun to watch.”

At the other end Mike Smith turned aside 39 pucks in a losing effort.

“I think once we got into the second overtime, it was kind of just almost robotic. Nobody wanted to make a mistake and everyone was exhausted,” explained captain Blake Wheeler.

“We played an overtime game yesterday. We played four Stanley Cup playoff games in six days. It’s not often you see a breakaway in triple overtime to solve it but, tell you what, we had the right guy on the breakaway. We’re pretty gassed, but we’re pumped up in our room.”

Sunday’s overtime hero Nikolaj Ehlers had a dangerous wrister taken out of the air by the glove of Mike Smith just minutes into the opening frame.

Edmonton’s Zach Kassian gave Ehlers quite the shove following the play, as Ehlers doled out a push of his own right back to the Oilers’ tough guy. To no ones surprise, the same energy and emotion from the first three games was evident in the early moments of the first potential elimination game of the series.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Scheifele & Hellebuyck Interview – May 24'
RAW: Winnipeg Jets Scheifele & Hellebuyck Interview – May 24

Moments later Smith made another impressive glove save on Mark Scheifele in the slot on a backhanded wrist shot.

With penalties being an issue for both teams thus far in the series, Oilers’ defenceman Adam Larsson was the first to receive a minor penalty as he went off for holding 4:31 into the first period.

On the the ensuing powerplay number 55 had another crack at the can from the slot and this time he ripped one blocker side past Smith for his first goal of the playoffs. 1-0 Jets.

Winnipeg Jets’ Mark Scheifele (55) scores on Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during first period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

At the other end just 1:17 later the Jets lost track of Connor McDavid in the offensive zone and the Oilers’ captain raced around the Winnipeg net scoring on a wraparound for his first goal and fourth point of the playoffs.

Story continues below advertisement
Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) is scored on by Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid, not shown, during first period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

The high scoring pace continued as Mason Appleton tipped home his first goal of the post season on a Josh Morrissey point shot.

Winnipeg carried a 2-1 lead into the first intermission after an overly exciting opening twenty.

Read more: ‘It’s crazy’: Winnipeg Jets prospect Cole Perfetti to play for Canada at World Championship

Read next: A talk with Merck Mercuriadis, the Canadian spending billions on acquiring song catalogues

The Jets led the Oilers in first period shots 12-5 after getting destroyed in that department on Sunday.

It didn’t take Edmonton long to muster some offence in the middle frame as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins raced past Neil Pionk to pick up his own rebound. He fired it by Hellebuyck to knot the game at two goals apiece with over 16 minutes left in the period.

Story continues below advertisement

The Jets ran into some penalty trouble in the second taking four total penalties. That included a fraction on 5-on-3 time, seven seconds to be exact.

On the second powerplay, a holding minor to Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alex Chaisson tracked down a Connor McDavid rebound and sprung towards the net. Once in tight, he danced around Hellebuyck’s pad to tuck it home giving the visitors a 3-2 lead.

Edmonton Oilers’ Alex Chiasson (39) celebrates his goal with teammate Connor McDavid (97) during second period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action against the Winnipeg Jets, in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

The second period buzzer sounded with 1:17 remaining in a cross checking penalty called on Josh Morrissey.

A 17 appeared on the shot clock beside both teams after forty minutes, but this time the Oilers would take a one-goal lead of their own into the break.

After playing nearly mistake free for the first half of the third period the Oilers finally made a costly mental lapse.

Story continues below advertisement

Clinging to playoff life up by just a single goal, Ethan Bear coughed the puck up right in front of Mike Smith in the defensive zone.

The Jets cycled it around briefly before Mark Scheifele found it on his stick and one timed his second goal of the night past Mike Smith.

The pass came from Blake Wheeler a couple minutes before the midway mark of the period. That would tie the game once again, this time at three.

Shots for both teams seemed incredibly hard to come by in the final period of regulation. Edmonton led 6-5 at the end of the frame.

With just minutes left on the clock Jets’ captain Blake Wheeler got on one knee to block a Kris Russell slap shot and took it square in his lower area.

He immediately went to the dressing room and would return for the start of overtime.

“That was a huge block. Fired me up,” said Kyle Connor.

“It’s obviously tough to see a guy go down like that. But it’s part of the job. And we’ve got a whole lineup of guys buying in. It’s the playoffs. He’s a warrior, and right back at it,” he continued.

Story continues below advertisement
Winnipeg Jets’ Blake Wheeler (26) lies on the ice after getting hit by a shot during third period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action against the Edmonton Oilers, in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

Monday would mark the third time in four games that the Oilers and Jets remained tied after 60 minutes of regulation.

After sporadic chances throughout the first four minutes, Kyle Connor blasted a slapshot wide at point blank range.

Kailer Yamamoto took the first penalty of the period, getting sent to the box for tripping just 4:29 into overtime. The Jets could not capitalize on the powerplay chance ripping four shots on net in the first seven minutes of OT.

The overtime period wrapped up with Connor Hellebuyck making five saves to Mike Smith’s 10.

Edmonton Oilers’ Leon Draisaitl (29) shoots the puck through the crease by Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) during first overtime period NHL Stanley Cup playoff action in Winnipeg on Monday, May 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Fred Greenslade

The second extra frame got underway way at 12:12 a.m. and began with a few quality Oilers chances followed by a point blank Pierre-Luc Dubois rebound opportunity that was kept out by Smith.

Story continues below advertisement

The pace of play steadily went downhill as the second OT aged. The Oilers saw the majority of offensive action highlighted by a Darnell Nurse open-lane wrister that sailed over the head of Hellebuyck.

With Edmonton edging Winnipeg in shots 8-7, a third overtime would be on the way.

The drop of the puck took place at 12:56 a.m. central time.

Edmonton’s Gaetan Haas shot the puck over the boards at 15:28 giving Winnipeg the first man advantage since the first overtime.

The Jets waited until after the penalty expired to work some game winning magic.

Neil Pionk sent a long stretch pass from his own zone to Kyle Connor at the other blue line and Connor picked the far side corner on Smith at 13:08 into triple overtime.

“I think there’s a certain maturity that we’ve accumulated. I can go through the guys that have been here for a while. They’re not kids anymore,” said Wheeler.

“They’re entering the primes of their career and those are the guys that committed long-term and give us a chance to win. That’s all you can ask for. Ask for a chance.”

Read more: Alberta, Manitoba not ready to let Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets fans watch playoff games in person

Read next: Snowfall warnings issued for parts of southern Ontario as more wintery weather moves in

Story continues below advertisement

The Jets will now await the winner of the other north division series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

Toronto picked up a 2-1 game three win on Monday night taking a 2-1 series lead.

Game four goes Tuesday in the series’ only back-to-back with puck drop at 6:30 central time.


Sponsored content