McDavid leads Oilers past Jets 4-2 for 5th straight win
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Connor McDavid scored a goal and added two assists to lead the Edmonton Oilers to their fifth straight victory under interim coach Jay Woodcroft, 4-2 over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
McDavid’s three points give him 71 — 26 goals and 45 assists — for the season, two ahead of Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl, who had an assist against the Jets, for the NHL lead.
“You have nights where you feel good, you have nights where you don’t feel so good,” McDavid said. “Tonight I felt good and I thought our team played well.”
Zach Hyman, Kailer Yamamoto and Darnell Nurse also had goals for Edmonton, and Tyson Barrie had two assists.
“(McDavid) had it going on tonight, and he has it going on most nights,” Woodcroft said. “But in the end, it was a close game and some of the plays that our top players made were the difference in the game.”
Mikko Koskinen stopped 22 shots for Edmonton in his first game since going into the COVID-19 protocol after the all-star break.
“What a performance he put in,” Woodcroft said. “I thought he instilled a lot of confidence in our team.”
Winnipeg scored a pair of third-period goals, with one coming short-handed from Adam Lowry and Kyle Connor adding another on a power play. Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves for the Jets, who are 5-3-1 after a six-game winless streak.
Winnipeg had a five-on-three man advantage for 90 seconds in the first period, but didn’t get a shot on goal after a lot of passing back and forth.
Edmonton then got its first power play of the game and Hyman tipped in Barrie’s point shot through traffic at the 12:17 mark, 20 seconds into the advantage.
“We did have some seams open up actually and they did a good job of getting sticks on a couple of plays, where if it gets through you’re getting a Grade A chance,” Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said.
The Oilers, who outshot the Jets 15-5 in the opening period, improved to 15-0 when scoring first this season.
Yamamoto made it 2-0 with his 10th goal of the season at 7:46 of the second period. Draisaitl helped make it 3-0, sending a backhand pass across front of the net to McDavid, who fired the puck past Hellebuyck at 10:50.
McDavid’s latest point streak sits at six games, including three goals and eight assists.
Lowry got a breakaway and put a shot under Koskinen’s pads at 10:45 of the third. Connor followed with his 29th of the season, a one-timer at 14:38.
Blake Wheeler picked up an assist on Connor’s goal, giving him 12 points in his last four games, including three goals.
The Jets went on the power play with 2:05 left in the third when the Oilers were called for too many men on the ice, but couldn’t capitalize and Nurse scored on the empty net with 3 seconds remaining.
“What I really, really enjoyed about tonight’s game was the fact that (the Jets) got a little bit of momentum the last eight or nine minutes of the game, but our team didn’t flinch,” Woodcroft said. “Everyone was calm, we’re saying the right things on the bench and we found a way to come out of a tough building with two points, which is the most important thing.”
Oilers: host Minnesota on Sunday night.
Jets: begin a four-game road trip with a game at Calgary on Monday.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports