Paul Stastny scored the only goal of the game as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 Friday night at Rogers Place. The Jets lead the best-of-seven opening round playoff series 2-0.
“Both teams during the regular season probably relied on more offence than defence,” Oilers head coach Dave Tippett said after the game.
“Now it comes to playoffs and you’ve got to rely on your defence as much as your offence.”
“This is why you work all year long, to put yourselves in spots like this,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid said.
“Obviously we’ve dug ourselves a hole, but many, many teams have found a way to win from this spot we’re in right now.”
The Jets peppered Oilers goaltender Mike Smith with 10 shots in the first 10 minutes. He made two great saves on Kyle Connor, who was left all alone in front off a faceoff in the Oilers’ end.
Smith finished the first with 17 saves.
Jets netminder Connor Hellebuyck stretched out his left pad to deny Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse with just over three minutes to go in the second. The game remained scoreless after two.
“We can sit here and dwell and say the sky is falling, but let’s be real, we have a team that is capable of showing up at our next game in two nights and hopefully get some bounces our way and start to build off something,” Nurse said after the loss.
The Oilers had 3:39 of power-play time early in the third, including a 21-second five-on-three, but couldn’t muster a goal.
“If that’s a full two minutes, you might be able to look at that, but Leon had a good chance. If he gets that up, that’s a goal. That’s a good save by Hellebuyck, so I don’t think you lose the game in 20 seconds,” Oilers defenceman Tyson Barrie said of the inability to capitalize on the brief five-on-three.
At 4:06 of overtime, Stastny’s shot from the right wing deflected off an Oilers defenceman and eluded Smith.
Hellebuyck made 38 saves for the shutout while Smith finished with 35 stops.
Game 3 will be Sunday in Winnipeg. The Faceoff Show on 630 CHED will start at 3:30 p.m. The game starts at 5:30 p.m.
–With files from 630 CHED’s Brenden Escott
Watch below: Some Global News videos about the Edmonton Oilers making the 2021 NHL playoffs.
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