Coyotes beat Jets 4-2, get first win in Winnipeg
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Nick Schmaltz knew the Arizona Coyotes’ power play was going to finally click.
Schmaltz and linemate Christian Dvorak each scored with the man advantage just over two minutes apart and the Coyotes beat the Jets 4-2 for a rare victory in Winnipeg.
The Coyotes had lost 10 straight games in Winnipeg, since the Jets franchise moved from Atlanta in 2011.
Dvorak also scored at even strength.
“I don’t think it was anything that changed,” Schmaltz said of the power play that was 0 for 9 heading into the game. “We were going in the right direction.
“I thought last game was better, we had the good looks and they just weren’t going in, so we stuck with it and eventually they’re going to go in.”
Schmaltz, who has scored in three straight games, added two assists for Arizona. Conor Garland also scored and Oliver Ekman-Larsson finished with two assists.
Arizona was 2 for 2 on the power play. The Jets were 2 for 6.
“We just didn’t kill two penalties. That, to me, is the difference,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
He also saw weaknesses in his team’s penalty kill rather than strength in Arizona’s power play.
“Those were their first two power-play goals of the year,” Maurice said. “We made mistakes, but we blocked four shots. Four. We blocked four shots tonight and that’s a problem.”
Darcy Kuemper made 38 saves for the Coyotes. He has allowed two goals or less in 11 straight games, tying the franchise record set by Nikolai Khabibulin.
Mark Scheifele had a goal and an assist and extended his point streak to five games with his team-leading fourth goal of the season for Winnipeg.
Kyle Connor also scored for Winnipeg, and Josh Morrissey had a pair of assists.
Jets captain Blake Wheeler said the team wants to play well defensively and work from there.
“I think we’re still trying to establish ourselves and figure out our identity as a team,” Wheeler said. “We’re very much a work in progress.
“We’re a competitive group and we’ve come to work every single day since training camp. That’s a great thing to fall back on. Tighten a few things up. Also keeping in mind we’ve played quite a bit of hockey here to start the year.”
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots for the Jets, who were playing the second game of a five-game homestand and coming off a 7-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period, but Arizona scored a pair of power-play goals and led 4-1 following the second.
With Coyotes forward Derek Stepan off for hooking, Patrik Laine blasted a shot that hit the post and Scheifele sent the rebound past Kuemper at 7:35 of the first.
Garland deflected a shot from the point by Ekman-Larrson with eight seconds remaining in the opening period to tie it.
Dvorak and Schmaltz scored with the man advantage just over two minutes apart in the second to stretch Arizona’s lead to 3-1 at 7:21.
Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey had accidentally flipped the puck into his own net after Dvorak touched it.
Schmaltz then scored through traffic and Dvorak added his second goal of the game when he beat Hellebuyck on the glove side at 17:47.
With Garland in the penalty box for a high-sticking double minor against Laine, Connor flipped a backhand shot by Kuemper at 4:48 of the third to make it 4-2.
Winnipeg had another power play with five minutes left in the third, but failed to convert.
Coyotes: Host Nashville on Thursday.
Jets: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday.