Connor’s winner lifts Jets to 2-1 overtime victory over Nashville – Winnipeg

Connor’s winner lifts Jets to 2-1 overtime victory over Nashville – Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Jets’ dominance of the Central Division continued Thursday night when they defeated Nashville 2-1 in overtime.

After back-to-back home losses, Kyle Connor scored in the extra frame to avoid his first losing streak in three games and improved to 7-1 in overtime this season.

The Jets beat the Predators 41-26 to save the three-game homestand and handed the Preds their fifth straight loss.

“We fought hard tonight,” said forward Adam Lowry. “I felt like for the most part we’re the better team and if we get rewarded in overtime and sort of end that two-game slack it’s good for our confidence too.”

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RAW: Winnipeg Jet’s interview with Adam Lowry – December 15

“We spent a lot of time in their zone,” head coach Rick Bowness said. “I think once again their goalie made some great saves. So this was a better effort all round. We haven’t given up much at all.

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“We hit four posts. We had tons of opportunities. It was one of those nights where you just had to stay in the fight and hopefully someone will finally come out for you.”

Dylan DeMelo scored the only other goal for the Jets for his first tally in 87 games when he first heard his goal song this season.

“I think they waited a little too long to play it,” DeMelo said. “I would have liked to hear a little more about it, to be honest.

“Happy to contribute where I can and happy to get this 4v4 opportunity and yes you need to get to the net front I think. That’s where all the goals fall.”

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RAW: Winnipeg Jet’s Interview with Dylan DeMelo – December 15

After a slow start, the Jets got going late in the first period after a thunderous check. Defenseman Nate Schmidt left the game after a high hit by Tanner Jeannot. Immediately after they dropped the puck, Adam Lowry fought Jeannot. And that seemed to give the Jets the kickstart they needed.

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“It’s incredible leadership from Adam,” Bowness said. “I love what he did. You have to do that, especially in our ice rink. He’s a great teammate and as we always say, they pounce on one of us, they pounce on all of us. And we will all respond to that.”

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a dirty hit or anything,” Lowry said. “But every time you see a teammate go down on a hard check, I’m honestly probably trying to do the same check when the roles are reversed. You want to defend your teammate in some way. You want to calm things down somehow and get back to playing.

Schmidt was placed on concussion protocol and did not return to the game.

“At this point I don’t have an update,” Bowness said.

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RAW: Winnipeg Jet’s Rick Bowness Interview – December 15

Connor recorded a season-high 11 shots on goal in the win.

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READ MORE: ANALYSIS: No need to sound the alarm on Jets after back-to-back losses

The game started with a remarkable 7:55 play without a whistle, although neither side had a legitimate scoring opportunity.

A little over a minute later, Nashville scored with his first shot of the game. Filip Forsberg wired one past Connor Hellebuyck to give the visitors a 9:04 lead.

But the Jets would draw level thanks to an unlikely source.

After Pierre-Luc Dubois and Roman Josi threw rough penalties to put the teams 4-on-4, the Jets controlled the puck in Nashville’s end. Connor hit the post but soon went around the zone and sent a soft pass towards the net that landed right on DeMelo’s stick, which was parked in front of goal.

The defensemen netted the loose puck for his first goal in 13 months, dating back to his overtime winner against the LA Kings on Nov. 13, 2021. It was also just his ninth career goal in his 422nd regular season game.

Later in the period, Schmidt was knocked down by a Jeannot goal. He stayed on the ice for over a minute before running onto the bench, falling over in pain and not returning.

In the face-off that followed, Jeannot and Adam Lowry dropped their gloves as Winnipeg supporters cheered heartily.

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The Jets shot for the lead in the second game and fired all sorts of shots at Juuse Saros, failing to beat the Nashville goalie despite two power plays in that period.

Nashville would get its first chance with the man advantage late in the frame when Jansen Harkins circumcised Forsberg with a high stick, clipping his nose.

But the Preds managed just two shots on target in nearly four minutes before Forsberg made a holding error to end the power play.

Winnipeg maintained a 29-14 lead on shots en route to the third period, where they continued to pressure the Preds as they tried to avoid their first slip in three games of the season.

The Jets had a power play in the third minute after just over five minutes and had the puck most of the time in the Nashville end but couldn’t beat Saros.

Not long after the power play ended, Nashville got one of their own, but they couldn’t take advantage of it either.

Play continued deep into the third period without either side gaining an advantage, including an entertaining 5:24 no whistle stretch, but it would take teams more than 60 minutes to determine a winner.

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Josh Morrissey was inches away from his third OT winner of the season, hitting the bar on a breakaway at the end of a long shift.

But just moments later, Connor came off the bench, got the puck from Lowry and fired a shot that pierced Saros and dribbled over the goal line for his second winner of the season.

With the win, the Jets improve to 11-2 against the Central, 7-1 in games that required overtime and 8-2 from one loss, with six of those wins coming in OT.

Hellebuyck made 25 saves in a win while Saros was much busier, repelling 39 shots in a loss.

CONTINUE READING: Scheifele’s hat trick is not enough as the Golden Knights defeat Jets 6-5

The Jets will now take to the streets for a couple of games this weekend, Saturday night in Vancouver and Sunday in Seattle.

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