WINNIPEG, MB – The Edmonton Oilers rallied after the Winnipeg Jets scored the game's first goal but a late Jets marker to tie it and early overtime winning ultimately spoiled the party in a 3-2 defeat at MTS Centre on Wednesday night.
"I thought we played a textbook road game. We settled into a building that is extremely loud and volatile and I thought we played a mature game," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins. "I believe if we can bring that game every night we're going to win a lot of hockey games."
With the Oilers up 2-1, the Jets tied the game with 3:06 to play. Dustin Byfuglien redirected a point shot from Mark Stuart past Scrivens to get the Jets back on even terms at 2-2.
"Those tipped goals are tough to defend. I thought we had good coverage right across the board," said the Edmonton head coach.
The goal came after the Oilers narrowly missed on three five-bell scoring chances.
Nail Yakupov narrowly missed the net on a quick one-time attempt off the rush and not too long after that, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rang a shot off the post behind Pavelec. With just over five minutes to play in the game, Pavelec had to make a big pad stop off a Jordan Eberle quick shot from the slot to keep it a one-goal game.
"We hit a post at the 10 minute mark, 9 minute mark and their goalie made an unbelievable save at the 6 minute mark. This game is over if any of those go in," Eakins stated.
Then 17 seconds into overtime, Mathieu Perreault redirected a Jacob Trouba blast past Scrivens to give the Jets the win.
But despite the loss, Eakins was definitely encouraged.
"There's a laundry list of well-played plays, mature plays that we need to keep in our game now. They had gone away but now they're back," he said. "It's frustrating knowing how this month had gone but I'm more encouraged than anything."
Winnipeg got on the board first in the game. The Jets skated down the ice on a two-on-one with Mathieu Perreault and Evander Kane. Instead of dishing to Kane, Perreault paused and waited for Jacob Trouba to catch up. He then dished it back to the Jets defenceman who wired a wrist shot high past Scrivens for the goal and 1-0 lead 12:33 into the game.
Five minutes later, the Oilers got that goal back. Off the rush, Justin Schultz skated into the Jets zone then dished the puck to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins at the top of the right circle. Nuge made no mistake, firing a wrister past Pavelec to knot the game up.
Shots on goal after one period were 8-7 for the Jets.
Oilers opened the period with a flourish, outshooting the Jets 4-1 but Winnipeg came roaring back, particularly on a shift about seven minutes into the frame where they peppered Ben Scrivens with seven shots.
Of those seven shots, the biggest was an outstanding glove grab on Dustin Byfuglien's wrist shot from the slot.
Luke Gazdic dropped the gloves with Anthony Peluso in a clash of two heavyweights with 1:40 remaining in the period. Gazdic landed the decisive blow after a lengthy bout.
Andrew Ladd received two minutes for cross-checking, giving the Oilers the first power play of the game for either side with 1:03 to play in the middle frame. Mark Fayne started with the first power play unit on the left point.
Shots after 40 minutes were 19-18 for Winnipeg.
The Oilers announced Nikita Nikitin will not return to the game due to a back injury to start the third.
1:31 into the final frame, David Perron put the Oilers in the lead, fighting off Pardy then dragging the puck into the slot before firing it home.
Despite taking the lead, the Oilers continued to take the play to Winnipeg and didn't sit back.