Morrissey scores winner, Winnipeg beats Kraken 5-3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Josh Morrissey scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:10 left in the third period and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Seattle Kraken 5-3 on Thursday night.
The Jets won for the second consecutive night, following a 6-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
“It’s huge,” Morrissey said. “Obviously, we know where we’re at in the standings, and we need points and wins right now. I’ve liked where our game has been at since we’ve come back from the break, for the most part, and it was an emotional win for us last night and (it was good) to rebound against a team that is coming in fresh and waiting for us here tonight.
“It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest game through and through for us, but it’s a huge win. We’re going to need to stack wins together if we’re going to go on a run here.”
Morrissey converted a perfect pass from Connor and beat Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer cleanly for the game-winner.
“He’s (Morrissey) back to being the player that we expected him to be,” said Jets coach Dave Lowry, who pointed out that Morrissey lost his father last season. “It was tough. But he is back and enjoying the game. He is having fun and playing the way that everybody expected him to play.”
Dominic Toninato, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blake Wheeler also scored for Winnipeg. Kyle Connor, who assisted on Morrissey’s goal, added an empty-net goal at the buzzer. Eric Comrie stopped 20-and Dylan DeMelo had two assists.
Vince Dunn, Marcus Johansson and Jordan Eberle scored for Seattle. Grubauer made 24 saves.
Seattle tied the score at 3-all 7:02 into the third. Eberle tipped in a pass from forward Johansson from the crease.
“We created enough,” Eberle said. “I think the biggest thing is we gave up too much. We traded chances with a team that has a lot of fire power. I thought, at the start of the game, we started really well. We were on top of them and obviously, we had a couple big goals, and the short-handed one in the first, that really deflated us. That can’t happen. That’s on me, that’s on other guys.
“Then, they get one to tie it up and then, take the lead. We fought back and had opportunities to create, but at the end of the day we hung (Grubauer) too much out to dry. They had some good chances and that’s all stuff that we created and gave them.”
Wheeler, who had two points, gave Winnipeg a 3-2 lead at 11:54 of the second period when he converted a pass from Paul Stastny in front. Stastny stole the puck in the corner and immediately fed Wheeler.
The Jets knotted the score at 2-2 early in the second. Just getting out of the penalty box, Dubois fired a sharp-angled shot that beat Grubauer 1:45 in.
The Kraken took a 2-1 lead into the second period. Winnipeg cut into a 2-0 deficit when Toninato scored a short-handed goal with just 13 seconds left in the opening period. With Dubois off for high sticking, Toninato converted a perfect pass from Adam Lowry into an open net with Grubauer pulled out of position.
Seattle had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. With Winnipeg defenseman Logan Stanley off for boarding, Dunn fired a slap shot from the point that beat a screened Comrie 3:21 into the game.
The Kraken followed that when Johansson beat Comrie from the slot at the 12:15 mark.
“The short-handed goal at the end of the first period, the early goal at the beginning of the second period obviously gave them a lot of life,” said Kraken coach Dave Hakstol. “That led to a good second period for them.”
NOTES: The Jets played without veteran forward Andrew Copp, who suffered an undisclosed injury on Wednesday. He was replaced in the lineup by Kristian Vesalainen. … Former Jets forward Mason Appleton played his first game in Winnipeg since the Jets left him unprotected in the NHL expansion draft. He had five goals and 13 points heading into Thursday.
Seattle: At Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Winnipeg: Host Edmonton Oilers in finale of a four-game homestand.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports