WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Jets ended their season opening road trip with a 6-5 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul last night.
Winnipeg grabbed the early lead when Kyle Connor opened the scoring at 3:48 of the first but that goal was quickly answered back by Minnesota’s Matt Zuccarello less than a minute later. Connor Hellebuyck had what can be only described nicely as a “shaky” start, but went on to recover nicely and played strong the rest of the period (and also had a good second period). The first period was a spirited affair with a fight between Brenden Dillon and Marcus Foligno and numerous other minor penalties by both teams. After 20 minutes the score was tied 2-2 then the teams exchanged goals in the second.
When the two teams hit the ice for the third to break the tie, the Jets looked like the team that finished last season; Pierre-Luc Dubois and Andrew Copp scored early and the Jets held on to the lead despite many great chances from the Wild but were thwarted by Hellebuyck. The Wild did make it a game with a late goal by Foligno, and with the Minnesota net empty, Hellebuyck let yet another soft goal in by Joel Eriksson Ek to send the game to overtime. Josh Morrissey’s ill-timed holding penalty in the extra frame lead to the game winning powerplay goal by Eriksson Ek to give the Wild the win.
The Jets return for their home opener Thursday vs. the Anaheim Ducks with puck drop at 7pm (TSN 3, 680 CJOB/Power 97).
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