Oilers top Jets for fourth straight win
WINNIPEG — Kris Knoblauch was glad the Edmonton Oilers didn’t get down on themselves when things weren’t going their way on Thursday.
The coach saw determination and a bit of luck pay off with a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets that extended Edmonton’s win streak to four games.
“There could, obviously, have been frustration,” Knoblauch said. “I thought we played pretty well for the first 40 minutes, could have had some goals. Their goalie played really well.
“A few missed chances, just missing wide, and the guys didn’t deviate from the game plan and stuck with it.”
Leon Draisaitl scored on the power play with 2:13 remaining in the third period to break a tie.
Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse had tied the game 1-1 with 6:49 left in the third period with a straight-on shot from just inside the blue line that hit goalie Connor Hellebuyck’s glove and bounced into the net.
Forward Ryan McLeod’s first goal of the season went into an empty net with 20 seconds left.
“We got a little bit of a break on the first goal, but I think it was deserved considering how many opportunities we had,” Knoblauch said.
Nurse agreed the Oilers had a lot of chances.
“I was just trying to shoot through a screen and you never know what happens,” Nurse said.
Stuart Skinner made 25 saves for Edmonton (9-12-1).
"If there's a right way to win, that's what it looks like,” Skinner said. “I thought the guys stuck with it all night. I thought we did just a great job in both ends overall."
Cole Perfetti scored a first-period power-play goal for Winnipeg with a redirection in front of a season-high crowd of 13,611 fans at Canada Life Centre.
“We’ve been talking about getting more guys to the net and that’s how you’re going to score,” Perfetti said. “It’s hard to beat a goalie clean, so kind of getting greasy ones, getting traffic in front.”
Hellebuyck stopped 36-of-38 shots for Winnipeg (12-8-2), which is now riding its first three-game losing streak of the season.
“Our biggest problem tonight was faceoffs,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “They killed us in the faceoff circle, so you’re chasing them all the time.
“We’re not trying to sit back, but they’re winning so many faceoffs we end up chasing them. We won 29 per cent, they won 71.”
The Oilers had the game’s first power play midway in the first period, but Hellebuyck stopped a close-in shot by Connor McDavid.
Winnipeg got its first man advantage late in the period and Perfetti redirected a shot by Scheifele into the net at 18:27. It was his eighth goal in 22 games this season, which ties his career high for goals from last season’s 51 games.
Shots on goal favoured Edmonton 12-8.
The Jets had their second power play with six minutes remaining in the middle period. They got three shots on goal, but the best chance was an open side of the net and Perfetti couldn’t get his stick on the puck.
With three minutes left, McDavid was called for interference. Skinner got a piece of Winnipeg’s only shot with his pad.
The Oilers led 23-17 on shots after the second frame.
A third-period highlight for the fans was Jets captain Adam Lowry checking McDavid hard into the boards.
Hellebuyck shook his head in anger after Nurse registered his fourth goal of the season at 13:11.
BACK IN ACTION
Jets forward Gabe Vilardi returned after missing 18 games with a sprained MCL he suffered on Oct. 17 in Winnipeg's third game of the season.
Vilardi had been on Winnipeg’s first line with Kyle Connor and Scheifele before his injury, but was eased in against the Oilers on the fourth line with Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Morgan Barron moved to centre. He also played some minutes on the first power-play unit.
Edmonton defenceman Evan Bouchard stretched his point streak to eight games with an assist on Draisaitl's goal. He now has two goals and eight assists in that span.
McDavid had the primary helper on the goal, extending his point streak to six games with four goals and 12 assists.
Jets: Host the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday afternoon.
Oilers: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 6.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2023.