WINNIPEG — A late Mark Scheifele rip from his patented spot on the man advantage was key in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Bell MTS Place Sunday afternoon.
The win improved the Jets record to 18-10-2, while the Ducks dropped to 12-14-4.
“Either team could have been up by a bunch in that game,” said Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice. “But then we got a big goal the end.”
Scheifele ripped home the game’s opening goal on a quick but effective rush with the help of consecutive backhanded dishes from Matthew Perreault then Kyle Connor.
The Ducks evened things up 34 seconds later when Rickard Rackell stripped Tucker Poolman behind Winnipeg’s goal line before throwing a no-look feed to Jakob Silfverberg who’s one-timer just escaped Connor Hellebuyck.
Later in the frame Nik Ehlers continued to play his newfound enforcer role, dropping the mitts with Ryan Getzlaf just days after Ehlers went at Dallas’ power forward Jamie Benn.
“Same weight class right?” joked Nik Ehlers postgame. “I had a bad period and couldn’t really get it going, he gave me a cross check after I gave a pass and then… yeah.”
Neither side took advantage of the scrap’s momentum, and the score remained 1-1 after 20.
Some more feisty play from Ehlers drew a holding penalty to Nicolas Deslauriers 7:31 into the second, but the Jets’ sustained sloppiness with the puck led to both limited chances and offensive zone time.
Immediately after the minor, Ondrej Kase got a breakaway — a golden opportunity to give Anaheim their first lead — but Hellebuyck’s blocker denied Kase’s deke.
“I was pretty calm in there,” said Hellebuyck about defending off high-danger chances. “ I’m just trying to turn pucks away and get them as far away from me as possible.”
Winnipeg got ahead with under two minutes to go in the second when Adam Lowry, who missed a chunk of play earlier in the game, roofed a pass from line mate Andrew Copp over John Gibson’s left shoulder.
Lowry’s third of the season gave the Jets a 2-1 lead after 40.
Winnipeg’s chaotic play at the blue lines hurt them in the third, and Hellebuyck couldn’t bail out an errant Connor back-pass turnover, leading to Drew Shore burying the puck to twine during a wild scramble in front of the Jets’ net.
With 4:22 to go, Scheifele’s 13th gave Winnipeg a late lead, one they held onto for a 3-2 win.
“There’s not many guys in the world that can get that shot off from that spot on the ice,” said Maurice postgame.
The Jets will remain at home for the next few days, hosting the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night at Bell MTS Place. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.