The Edmonton Oilers didn’t have the start they envisioned in Manitoba on Tuesday night — and Darnell Nurse knew it.
“Any time you dig yourself a 4-0 hole, it’s tough to come back in the third,” he said.
The Winnipeg Jets scored three goals in the second period and didn’t look back, claiming a 5-2 victory over the Oilers at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg.
“Every time we got an opportunity, (Connor) Hellebuyck just closed the door, and we just chased the rest of the game,” lamented Oilers head coach Dave Tippett.
The Jets opened the scoring with a soft one against Mikko Koskinen 2:09 into the game. Adam Lowry’s wrister from the right side filtered through Koskinen on the first shot of the game.
Nik Ehlers pounded a left-wing slapper past Koskinen to make it 2-0 seven minutes into the second.
With Leon Draisaitl serving a double-minor penalty for high sticking, Pierre-Luc Dubois flicked in a pass from Josh Morrissey.
Mark Scheifele scored on a deflection in the final minute of the second to put the Jets up 4-0.
The Oilers found some life on the power play early in the third.
Draisaitl ripped home a one-timer on a two-man advantage.
Just 1:16 later, Draisaitl swept the puck past Connor Hellebuyck. The referee waved it off, ruling that Jesse Puljujarvi was guilty of goalie interference.
The Oilers challenged, and video review showed Puljujarvi was pushed into Hellebuyck, giving Draisaitl his 17th goal of the year.
Kyle Connor put it away for Winnipeg with an empty-net goal with 1:37 to go.
Stuart Skinner replaced Koskinen at the start of the third and made eight saves.
The Oilers went 2-3 on their five-game road trip and drop to 11-4 on the season.
“Every team has those road trips,” said Draisaitl after the game. “I don’t think we were as bad as maybe it looked on the scoresheet, but if you go down 4-0, you’re probably not going to win.”
The Oilers don’t have to wait long to get another crack at the Jets. They play them again Thursday — this time, playing the role of host at Rogers Place.
– With files from David Boles