WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - New Jets coach Paul Maurice likes what he has seen from Winnipeg rookies Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele.
That dynamic duo scored all three goals for the Jets in a 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Maurice improved to 3-0 since taking over for fired coach Claude Noel on Jan. 12.
“They’re good players,” said Maurice, who added that he doesn’t look at the franchise’s first two No. 1 draft picks since moving from Atlanta as rookies. “There’s not like a kiddie section in our locker room.”
Trouba, a 19-year-old defenseman, tied it 2-2 in the third period and scored in overtime for Winnipeg (22-23-5). Scheifele, a 20-year-old center, gave the Jets a 2-1 lead midway through the third.
Jordan Eberle and David Perron had the goals for the Oilers, who went 0-4 on a Central Division road trip and were outscored 17-8.
Edmonton lost this one when Jets forward Blake Wheeler found Trouba alone in front of the net for the winning goal after he nearly scored himself.
“Nobody really got down when we got down a goal,” said Trouba, who couldn’t recall ever scoring an overtime winner or having two goals in a game. “I don’t do that very often.”
The Oilers forced overtime when Perron redirected Jeff Petry’s point shot with two minutes remaining in regulation on just the fifth Edmonton shot of the third period.
Perron said the game would have played out much differently had the Oilers added to their 1-0 lead.
“I had a breakaway in the first,” he said. “I would like to have that one back, probably.”
Trouba had tied it at 5:48 of the third with a short-handed goal.
Bryan Little carried the puck down the left wing, went around a sprawling Petry, and found the rookie defenseman in the low slot. It was the NHL-worst ninth short-handed goal allowed by the Oilers (15-30-6).
“They were both spectacular plays,” Trouba said of the setups from Little and Wheeler. “You’ve just got to get the puck to those kind of players and they’ll find you.”
Little and Maurice spoke of the Jets’ willingness to stay patient despite trailing by a goal.
“We didn’t want to take too many chances and too many risks yet,” Little said. “It was just a one-goal game. We were waiting for our opportunities, and it happened to come when we were short-handed.”
Scheifele then fought through a check along the boards, cut to the front of the net, and banged in his own rebound for his ninth goal, making it 2-1 at 10:37 of the third.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins was encouraged by the fight his team showed after Edmonton trailed by a goal.
“We were fine early,” Eakins said, “and then as the game wears on, and as the game gets harder and harder, we don’t have that strength to quite sustain it for the full 60 minutes.”
Ondrej Pavelec stopped 20 shots for Winnipeg, and Ilya Bryzgalov made 36 saves for Edmonton.
Eberle opened the scoring for the Oilers on the power play at 6:59 of the second period with his 16th goal. Eberle took a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins below the left faceoff dot and beat Pavelec high to the glove side.
The Jets outshot the Oilers 24-16 through two periods, but couldn’t beat Bryzgalov. Winnipeg had an 11-8 edge in the scoreless first period in which each team failed to score on a pair of power plays.
Newly acquired Oilers forward Matt Hendricks took a puck to the ear midway through the period and went to the locker room, but returned shortly after. Wheeler was shaken up after taking an elbow to the head from Taylor Hall, but didn’t miss a shift.
Some were expecting the bad blood to carry over from the teams’ previous meeting, a 6-2 Edmonton win on Dec. 23 in which the Jets racked up 78 penalty minutes. But there was little action after the whistle until a short third-period scrap between Hendricks and Jets defenseman Mark Stuart.
NOTES: Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, who left Thursday’s game with a head injury, didn’t play. Teammate Ales Hemsky missed a second straight game because of a foot injury. … Jets forward Evander Kane missed his fourth consecutive game with a hand injury sustained during a fight in the final seconds of a game against Tampa Bay on Jan. 7. … Winnipeg’s experiment with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien playing at forward continued for a fourth game. The 28-year-old Byfuglien played in his 500th NHL game.
Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.