Copp scores 4, Jets defeat Canucks 5-1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Andrew Copp not only scored his first NHL hat trick, he added a little extra.
Copp scored four goals to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
Copp had a pair of power-play goals in the second period and two more goals in the third to give the Jets (20-11-2) their second-straight win over the Canucks.
“I’m going to have a hard time remembering my last four-goal game. I don’t know, I don’t know if that’s ever happened before. So it’s a pretty cool experience,” Copp said with a grin.
“Obviously, our power play was working again today, and just getting those two at the end were kind of cherries on top.”
Copp has 10 goals on the season, with five coming in the last three games.
The 26-year-old from Ann Arbor, Michigan, tends to play a more defensive role, but has been working hard on his offensive skills, Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
“He’s spent an awful lot of time developing his hands, picking pucks along the boards. Just worked at it and worked at it,” Maurice said.
Mark Scheifele also scored for the Jets.
Nils Hoglander scored for the Canucks.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 38 shots for Winnipeg. Thatcher Demko had 31 saves for the Canucks (16-18-3).
Vancouver got on the board with 1:25 left to play as Hoglander blasted a shot past Hellebuyck in the slot.
Winnipeg also topped Vancouver 4-0 on Monday.
The Canucks pulled Demko with more than five minutes left on the clock in favor of an extra attacker .
Copp completed the hat trick 15:50 into the third, sending a bouncing puck from the Jets blue line sailing into the empty Canucks net.
His fourth of the game came with less than three minutes to go, when he beat Demko with a backhanded shot in tight.
A trio of goals in the middle period proved to be the Canucks undoing.
Copp registered Winnipeg’s first of the night on a power play 5:53 into the second period after Vancouver was called for too many men.
Neal Pionk wound up and unleashed a blast from the blue line and Copp, stationed in the slot, deflected it in to get the Jets on the board.
A similar situation unfolded five minutes later. Once again, the Canucks were called for too many men and once again the Jets capitalized, with Copp knocking in a rebound.
Winnipeg was 2 for 3 with the man advantage. Vancouver failed to capitalize on two power plays.
“We take those two penalties that should never happen on our part and they capitalize on it, Canucks center Bo Horvat said. “I thought for the majority of the game we carried the play and did some good things tonight so it’s frustrating to lose that one.”
The too-many-men penalties were a result of miscommunication, Horvat added.
“It’s just one of those mix up things. We’ve got to be sharper on the bench,” he said.
The Jets added another strike before the second intermission.
Demko came up high in his creased to challenge a shot from Blake Wheeler and made a solid stop with his left skate. But Scheifele was there to collect the rebound and pop it in to give Winnipeg a 3-0 lead.
There weren’t any goals in the first period.
Despite the final score, Canucks coach Travis Green felt his group did a lot of good things on Wednesday.
As the year progresses, losses become a bit tougher to take, especially when the team is playing well, he said.
“Sometimes you play a pretty decent game and things don’t go your way. Does it sting? Yeah, a little bit,” Green said. “It should, though. That’s why we play the games, because they matter. And they feel great when you win and when you lose, they’re supposed to hurt.”
NOTES: Horvat returned to the Canucks lineup after missing much of the third period Monday. He took a slap shot to the foot early in the period and couldn’t put weight on his left leg as he headed to the dressing room. … Jets defenseman Tucker Poolman played his 100th NHL game.
Jets: At Calgary on Friday, Saturday and Monday nights.
Canucks: Host Calgary on Wednesday, March 31.
https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports