Pierre-Luc Dubois scored a pair of goals to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators Monday night and the Jets closed out a three-game homestand with a win.
The Jets were dominant for over 40 minutes as they built up a three-goal lead through the first two periods. They allowed a pair of third period goals to let the Sens back in the game, but still hung on for a one-goal victory.
“I thought we had the right mentality offensively,” said Dubois. “I thought we didn’t spend much time in our zone in the first two, and even in the third for a good chunk of the period, and then, I mean, just stuff that happens.
“Obviously, it’s not how you want it to go. It’s not how you script it, but it’s never gonna be easy, and you got to deal with adversity, cause stuff like that is going to happen later as the season goes on until the playoffs. So, it’s just part of the game. It’s not how you want it to go, but you got to learn from it.”
The Jets were coming off back-to-back losses for just the third time this season.
The shots were heavily tilted in the Jets favour through two periods with it 36 to 14. But the Jets sat back in the final frame and the Sens battled their way back into contention.
“I think two points is two points,” forward Andrew Copp said. “Obviously there’s things you need to clean up. There always is about your game.
“We didn’t stay on the pedal as much as we needed to maybe a little bit. But a lesson to learn for sure as we go along here. We’re going to need to learn how to end games and kinda get it to the buzzer. We were able to still do that, which is good, but we need to not let teams back in the game as we go along here.”
Copp recorded a pair of assists to give him 30 points on the season which is a new career-high. He had already surpassed his career-best in goals earlier this season.
Adam Lowry and Kyle Connor had the other goals for Winnipeg, while Nikolaj Ehlers also chipped in with two assists.
With his 123rd career goal, Connor passed Dustin Byfuglien for the ninth most goals in franchise history.
Connor Hellebuyck made 20 saves in a winning effort.
Dubois’ first goal came just 2:10 into the contest and the Jets rode the momentum as they killed off three straight penalties in the first period. They left the frame outshooting Ottawa 14-8 and went on to dominate in the shot column by a 46-23 margin at the end of the night, and the 46 shots on goal is a new season-high for the Jets.
“I liked our first and I liked the energy that we had on our kill. I thought it was really effective,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “And I felt that way the whole game.
“I thought we had better jump, we executed better, we were faster. We looked like we had a couple days off and we needed it.”
It was the first time the Jets had two straight days without a game in almost a month.
It was a busy night for Ottawa goaltender Anton Forsberg, as he made 42 saves in the loss. Claimed off waivers from Winnipeg less than a month ago, Forsberg was still sporting his Jets pads and mask for the game.
Blake Wheeler set the table for Dubois’ opening goal, keeping possession of the puck behind the Ottawa net and finding his centreman. The puck was off Dubois’ stick as fast as it was on it, and his quick touch was able to get over the shoulder of Forsberg.
Lowry gave the Jets a 2-0 lead early in the second period. His wrist shot from the top of the circle beat Forsberg on his glove side.
Just 29 seconds later, Ryan Dzingel got the Senators on the board, taking a loose puck from behind the net and finding an opening on the short side of Hellebuyck.
But that goal seemed to ignite the Jets’ offence further. Dubois smacked home a one-timer from Copp over the glove of Forsberg for his second of the night, and eighth as a Jet.
Late in the second period, Connor added to the Jets goal total. His pass attempt ended up deflecting off Ottawa’s Chris Tierney and into the net, giving the Jets a 4-1 lead into the third period.
A push by the Sens late in the game kept things interesting. Josh Norris cut the Jets’ lead in half with a power-play goal midway through the third period as his wrister from the top of the circle beat Hellebuyck on the glove side.
And then Connor Brown got the Sens within a goal as he converted a behind-the-back pass from Artem Anisimov, but that’s as close as the visitors would get.
Combined with Edmonton’s 3-2 overtime loss to Montreal on Monday, the Jets win puts them one point up on the Oilers for second place in the North Division.
Winnipeg now begins a five-game road trip starting in Montreal on Thursday. You can listen to the game live on 680 CJOB with Kelly Moore, Paul Edmonds and Jamie Thomas with the pregame show beginning at 4 p.m. and the puck dropping just after 6 p.m.
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