Connor scores twice, Jets beat Coyotes to end 4-game skid
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Kyle Connor scored twice in the third period and the Winnipeg Jets broke a four-game skid with a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.
Adam Lowry, Evgeny Svechnikov and Blake Wheeler scored for the Jets, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third period.
“Just a lot of resilience,” Connor said. “The way it has been going, it could have been easy to start pointing fingers, blaming each other and not come out. We really came together there and had a nice push. It was real impressive.”
Nick Ritchie, Jakob Chychrun and Barrett Hayton scored for the Coyotes, who had won two of three. Ritchie added an assist in his second game with Arizona after being acquired from Toronto nine days ago.
Eric Comrie made 27 saves in his first start since Feb. 17. He’s made three starts in Winnipeg’s last 26 games, and the Jets have won all three. The Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck leads the NHL with 44 games in net.
“With days off in between, sometimes it’s hard to get both guys in the net,” Jets interim coach Dave Lowry said. “He gave us the game we expected. He gave us a chance to win. He made some critical saves at key times.”
Scott Wedgewood made 33 stops for the Coyotes.
Wheeler made it 3-3 on a 2-on-1 break 3:17 into the third period, and Connor scored just over two minutes later to put Winnipeg ahead.
“I saw a group that stayed with it,” Lowry said. “We got pushed and stayed with how we wanted to play. Nice to see Wheels go down and get that goal for us.”
Wedgewood made a glove save on Mark Scheifele’s penalty shot at 12:23 of the third, but Arizona couldn’t get the tying goal. Connor scored into an empty net with 1:08 left.
Connor has 32 goals, the fourth season in the last five with at least 30.
“I believe he’s playing the game the right way,” Lowry said. “He creates. He finds open space. He hunts pucks. He’s quick. He usually doesn’t miss.”
Lowry put the Jets ahead 1-0 at 7:39 of the first period, the first of three goals in a 9:01 span. Chychrun tied it at 10:16 with a slap shot from the top of the left circle, and Svechnikov put the Jets ahead 2-1 43 seconds later when he pushed a backhander past Wedgewood.
Hayton tied it at 2 on a nifty move, picking up the puck at center ice and splitting the defense between the circles before faking left and going right to put a backhand shot into an open side.
Connor hit the crossbar on a wrist shot from the right circle five minutes into the second period.
“We had really good goaltending that kept us in the game, but we didn’t play as good defensively,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said.
Winnipeg D Nathan Beaulieu had two assists in his third game back after missing 10 games with a lower body injury. ... Connor has a point in 23 of his 29 road games this season. ... Coyotes D Dysin Mayo signed a $2.85 million, three-year contract extension Friday. ... The Jets ended a stretch of 11 straight games against Western Conference foes Sunday. ... Arizona was 7-1 when leading after two periods.
Winnipeg: Hosts Montreal on Tuesday
Arizona: At Colorado on Wednesday
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