Pavelec lifts Jets past Coyotes
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves in his season debut, and the Winnipeg Jets halted a four-game losing streak with goals from six players in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday night.
It was Pavelec’s first NHL game this season after the veteran goalie was sent to the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose at the end of training camp. The 29-year-old Pavelec was recalled Tuesday to start instead of Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson, who each struggled during the team’s winless skid (0-3-1).
Josh Morrissey, Blake Wheeler, Andrew Copp, Shawn Matthais, Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for the Jets, who started a four-game homestand. Mathieu Perreault and Dustin Byfuglien each had a pair of assists.
Arizona’s Mike Smith stopped 29 of the 35 shots he faced before being replaced by Louis Domingue following Winnipeg’s sixth goal midway through the third period.
Domingue made four saves for the Coyotes, who have lost three straight. Their last win was 4-3 against the Jets at home last Friday.
Josh Jooris, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jakob Chychrun had Arizona’s goals.
The Coyotes led 2-1 after the first period, but the Jets scored three straight goals in the second to take a 4-2 lead.
Pavelec received his familiar “Pavy! Pavy!” chant from the crowd in the middle period after his quick stick deflected a shot by Radim Vrbata over the net.
Jooris scored on Arizona’s first shot on goal, firing the puck low and just outside Pavelec’s outstretched left skate at 2:49.
The Jets responded 47 seconds later with Morrissey’s long shot deflecting off players in front of Smith at 3:36.
Five seconds into a two-man advantage, Arizona used its sixth shot on goal to go ahead 2-1 off Ekman-Larsson’s unassisted laser to the top corner at 8:50.
After Wheeler tied it at 2at 3:03 of second with his 14th goal of the season, Copp’s stickhandling and patience at the side of net paid off when his sharp-angled shot gave the Jets the lead at 4:42.
Armia finished the period’s scoring at 12:49.
Trouba and Ehlers made it 6-2 by 8:59 of the third, sending Smith to the bench.
Chychrun got his second goal of the season with just over five minutes left, assisted by former Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov. It was his first game back in Winnipeg after the team placed him on waivers earlier this month and Arizona claimed him.
Coyotes: at Minnesota on Thursday night.
Jets: host St. Louis on Saturday.