Morrissey, Scheifele each score twice in the third as Jets rally to beat Blues 4-2
For a healthy chunk of the Winnipeg Jets tilt with the St. Louis Blues Monday night, it looked like they were destined for a fourth straight loss heading into the All-Star break.
But a third period flurry keyed by Josh Morrissey helped the Jets recover from a two-goal deficit in an eventual 4-2 triumph.
Neither side was able to find the back of the net in the first period despite each getting 12 shots on goal, though the Jets had the better of the chances. They also had a four-minute power play but only managed one shot during the four minutes. The Blues also failed on an early chance with the man advantage.
That trend continued in the second as Winnipeg continued to funnel shots toward Jordan Binnington but the Blues goaltender was turning aside all comers, and the Jets power play continued to falter, failing on four tries with the man advantage.
There were some audible boos heard from some fans during the final failed power play.
Given the Jets’ scoring struggles of late, it seemed almost fitting that St. Louis cashed in on their only power play chance in the period.
With Nate Schmidt in the box, Winnipeg cleared the puck down the ice but as they changed penalty killers, Binnington got the puck to Torey Krug who hit Jake Neighbours with a stretch pass. Neighbours walked in alone and beat Connor Hellebuyck to open the scoring.
In live time, it appeared that the play may have been offside but the Jets decided against challenging it once seeing video that showed it was a legit zone entry.
Despite outshooting the Blues 19-7 in the second, Winnipeg trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes, and it got worse just moments into the third.
After Dylan Samberg made a questionable pinch, Josh Leivo got free along the boards for a 2-on-1. Kyle Capobianco decided to try and take Leivo, who found a wide open Nikita Alexandrov streaking in alone. The rookie made no mistake for his third career goal, beating Hellebuyck to give the Blues a 2-0 advantage just 2:02 into the third.
That’s when Josh Morrissey put the team on his back.
Just 40 seconds after the Blues scored, the Norris Trophy contender raced up the ice and ripped a wrister past Binnington before letting out a huge celebration, looking at the crowd as he skated up the boards towards centre ice, imploring them to make some noise.
The energy seemed to be shifting in Winnipeg’s favour as the third period went along, and just before the midway point, the team’s big guns tied the game.
After the Blues turned the puck over to Kyle Connor in the St. Louis end, the forward found Nikolaj Ehlers in the corner, who quickly passed it back to Mark Scheifele in the slot for the tying goal.
It was the 30th of the season for Scheifele while Connor picked up his 200th career assist.
The building ignited when Morrissey gave the team the lead just 21 seconds later, sending one on goal off the rush that glanced off Brayden Schenn and past Binnington.
From there, the Jets went into shutdown mode, allowing just two shots the rest of the way before Scheifele put the game on ice with an empty-netter.
Hellebuyck turned aside 24 shots as Winnipeg avoided its first four-game losing skid of the season while Binnington stopped 35 shots as the Blues’ losing streak reaches five games.
Hellebuyck and Morrissey will now head to Florida to take part in the All-Star game while the rest of the team takes time off. They will return to action Feb. 11 at home against Chicago.
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