Nikolaj Ehlers leads the way, Jets storm back to beat Oilers

·4 min read

WINNIPEG — Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and three assists as the Winnipeg Jets battled back from an early 3-1 deficit to defeat the Edmonton Oilers 6-4 on Tuesday.

Andrew Copp added two goals, including one into an empty net, and two assists, while Adam Lowry scored and set up two others for Winnipeg (5-2-0). Paul Stastny, with a goal and an assist, and Mathieu Perreault provided the rest of the offence for the Jets, who got 22 saves from Connor Hellebuyck after falling 4-3 to the Oilers in dramatic fashion Sunday.

Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, with a goal and an assist each, Leon Draisaitl and Adam Larsson replied for Edmonton (3-5-0). Mikko Koskinen made 27 saves, while Darnell Nurse added three assists.

Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice was behind the bench for the 1,607th regular-season game of his NHL career, tying him with Al Arbour for fourth on the all-time list.

Down 3-2 through 40 minutes, the Jets tied things at 3:19 of the third period when Stastny weaved into the offensive zone and slid a pass to Ehlers for him to bury his fifth of the season — and a career-high fifth in as many games.

Stastny then gave Winnipeg its first lead at 5:26 when he fished a loose puck out of a crowd in front and flicked his second beyond Koskinen.

The Jets continued the onslaught just 1:20 later when Lowry redirected his fourth off a pass from Derek Forbort to make it 5-3.

McDavid got one back the visitors with 1:50 left on the clock and Koskinen on the bench for an extra attacker, but Copp iced it into an empty net with under a minute to go.

Edmonton, which won Sunday's opener of the two-game set when Draisaitl scored with less than a second remaining in regulation, and Winnipeg will go head-to-head seven more times this season in the all-Canadian North Division, with the next meetings scheduled for Feb 15 and 17 in Alberta's capital.

Playing the finale of a four-game road trip through Toronto and Winnipeg, the Oilers opened the scoring on a power play at 1:48 of the first when Draisaitl snapped his fourth of the campaign — and fourth in as many games — off the rush on a shot that beat Hellebuyck through the pads and just dribbled over the line.

Winnipeg, which suited up for its sixth game in nine nights, responded on a man advantage of its own at 5:14 when Copp banged home his third after Koskinen made a couple of good stops.

Edmonton nudged back in front 2-1 at 9:13 when Patrick Russell found Larsson at the point, and he beat Hellebuyck on a shot the Jets goalie will want back.

The Oilers, who came in with the NHL's 25th-ranked power play after finishing first in 2019-20, connected on their second straight man advantage to go up by two just 2:03 later when Nugent-Hopkins took a pass from McDavid and wired his fourth upstairs.

But the Jets countered once again three seconds after an Edmonton penalty expired when Perreault fired his first past Koskinen, who has played every minute of his team's season with fellow netminder Mike Smith out injured, off a Lowry feed at 14:37 as the Oilers took a 3-2 advantage to the locker room.

Mark Scheifele hit the post for Winnipeg early in the second on a 2-on-1 chance as the teams played with a lot more tempo following that penalty-filled first.

Edmonton's Zack Kassian had three great chances to put his team back up by two, including a breakaway moments before the intermission, but was unable to find the range.

Notes: Edmonton hosts the Maple Leafs for two games beginning Thursday after the teams split a pair of contests last week in Toronto. ... Winnipeg now has three days off before resuming its seven-game homestand Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.

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The Canadian Press