You’ve got to be good to be lucky, right? You know, those games where you deserve to lose, but somehow manage to squeak out with a victory? Walking away with two points in a game you had no business being in? Well on Tuesday, Winnipeg was the undeserving recipient of that honour.
On Tuesday, the Winnipeg Jets travelled to Ottawa’s Canadian Tire Centre for the first of 10 meetings between the NHL’s Scotia North Division. Playing catchup from the get-go and giving up another lopsided stat on the shot tracker, the Jets rallied from behind to beat the Senators 4-3, thanks to a brilliant goaltending performance from backup netminder Laurent Brossoit, paired with the game-winning play made by overtime hero Nikolaj Ehlers.
Another slow start for the visitors saw Ottawa collect six shots on net before two minutes even ticked off the clock. With defenceman Derek Forbort in the box for interference, Senators rookie Josh Norris scord his first career goal, a power play marker, 4:41 into the game. In picking up his own rebound, the first-year pro looked like a seasoned veteran in banking a low show off Brossoit’s right pad and into the net, giving Ottawa an early 1-0 lead.
Norris’ marker came on the Senators’ 10th shot of the game, pulling Ottawa ahead of the Jets by nine shots at that point. Following a Kyle Connor shooting clinic on a Jets power play, Chris Tierney gave Ottawa a 2-0 lead on a deflection off a long, floating Nikita Zaitsev point shot.
But late in the period, Adam Lowry provided a deflection goal of his own, redirecting a Neal Pionk point shot past goaltender Matt Murray, cutting Ottawa’s lead in half. Scoring at 18:09 of the opening frame, Lowry’s first of the season gave Winnipeg its ninth shot of the period. The Senators led 2-1 after one and 18-9 in the shot department.
The second frame saw Sami Niku take two penalties, with the second of which being costly for Winnipeg. With 45 seconds to go in Niku’s delay-of-game minor, an Alex Galchenyuk one-timer blew right by Brossoit’s outstretched blocker, top-shelf. Galchenyuk, who had served as a healthy scratch in the Sens’ first two games thought he had the insurance marker. However, it was then that the Jets began their second two-goal comeback of the season.
On a power play resulting from an Austin Watson slash, Kyle Connor sparked Winnipeg’s come-from-behind effort. Following a great setup play from Mark Scheifele to Blake Wheeler, the Jets’ captain found a wide-open Connor in the high slot, where the youngster hammered his third goal of the season past Murray.
Much like that of Monday’s game against Toronto, the Jets finished the second period outshot by nearly double, ending the middle stanza behind 32-17, only managing eight shots in the frame, compared to Ottawa’s 14. However, Winnipeg only trailed by one goal heading into the final period.
Despite not much by way of offence in the third, the Jets managed to tie the game late on yet another redirection goal. With their net empty and an extra attacker on the ice surface, Josh Morrissey hammered a low point shot that Wheeler deflected past Murray, knotting the game up at threes with just 1:17 to play. The shot was Winnipeg’s 27th of the game, as compared to Ottawa’s 40 shots through 60 minutes.
Needing overtime to find a winner, Ottawa found itself caught deep in the Jets’ end, leading to a Morrissey flip pass that forward Andrew Copp calmly collected up ice. He found a streaking Nikolaj Ehlers who put a low wrister into the Ottawa net, short-side, sealing the deal on Winnipeg’s second two-goal, come-from-behind victory of the season.
Now without holding a regulation lead at any point yet this season, Winnipeg moves on with a 2-1-0 record and four points to start the season. Next up for the Jets is the second game of three-straight against the Senators. Once again it will played at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday at 6:00 PM central. The two teams then travel to Winnipeg for a Saturday evening showdown at Bell MTS Place. That can will begin at 9:00 PM.