The comeback kids did it again.
Kyle Connor scored twice and Nate Thompson’s first goal as a Winnipeg Jet was the game-winner as the Jets battled back to pick up their third win in a row with a 6-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
The Jets scored six times in the final two periods to erase another early two-goal deficit.
“There’s no panic in this room,” Connor said. “If we’re down two – you saw that the last two games, we got the type of talent that can score in bunches. And when we play the right way, it’s fun to watch, and it’s fun to be apart of. And I think this is one of the best groups we’ve had in awhile. It’s pretty exciting on this team. We know we’re good.”
It’s the second straight game and the sixth time this season the Jets have won a game when trailing after the first period.
“I don’t think we want to make a habit of it,” said Thompson. “But I think it’s nice to know that we’re confident even in having that kind of deficit during a game, and being able to claw our way back. We know we can score some goals, and come back and win the game.”
Five different Jets’ players had multi-point efforts. Connor also had an assist for a three-point night. Jets captain Blake Wheeler recorded a goal and two assists. And with a goal and an assist, Mark Scheifele extended his point streak to a league best 11 games.
The Jets newest acquisition Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for the second game in a row, and also had one assist in the victory.
Dubois now has five points in two games since returning from injury.
“I think I can be better,” Dubois said. “My execution is still not 100 per cent there yet. Sometimes I’m trying to be in the right spot, so I’m kinda late, stuff like that. But like I said before, playing with Scheifele and Wheeler, and (Andrew) Copp, and (Mathieu) Perreault, and (Nikolaj) Ehlers on the powerplay – they make your life a lot easier.”
Jets defenceman Neal Pionk now has points in five straight games, and in 10 of his last 11 contests.
It was the first meeting of the season between the two, and the Jets have now faced every team in the North Division.
Winnipeg is now 12-6-1 on the year, while the slumping Habs fall to 9-6-4.
It was all Montreal in the first period as former Jet Joel Armia put on a show, scoring twice on his ex-team to give the Habs an early 2-0 lead.
After Connor scored for Winnipeg on the man advantage, Montreal responded with a powerplay goal of their own from Tomas Tatar and it was 3-1.
But Connor would score again, his 10th of the year, and Wheeler potted his fifth of the season shortly after, and the game was knotted at three heading into the third period.
Thompson scored what turned out to be the eventual game-winner with just over 13 minutes to play in the final frame. Dubois and Scheifele would round out the scoring for the Jets, with Scheifele sealing the deal with an empty netter.
The 172-pound Ehlers even got in a fight. Ehlers dropped the gloves with Corey Perry in the dying minutes of the game.
“He doesn’t pick on small guys,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “Clearly he’s got some fight to him.”
“It wasn’t too surprising,” said Dubois. “It was surprising cause he’s a good skilled player, but he did well. We were having a good laugh. He was fixing his helmet mid-fight which I think proves he’s not a fighter. He’s not used to it, but he did a good job.”
Defenceman Tucker Poolman missed the game with an upper-body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Sami Niku after more than five straight weeks as a healthy scratch.
The two teams meet again Saturday night in Winnipeg. The pregame show begins at 7 p.m. on 680 CJOB with puck drop just after 9 p.m.
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