Jets strike down Oilers 5-4 to open NHL season with win
The Winnipeg Jets scored two goals in the final period to stun the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 Tuesday night in their regular season opener at Edmonton's Rexall Place.
Jets rookie Jacob Trouba blistered a slap shot past Edmonton netminder Devin Dubnyk to even the score at 4-4 before Michael Frolik scored his second goal of the night on a beautiful pass from Eric Tangradi to seal the win.
Fans hopeful about season
Tuesday marked the first regular-season Jets game for the Shark Club, the gaming centre and bar that True North Sports and Entertainment opened in June.
The CBC's Sean Kavanagh talked to fans there about the start of the NHL season and the Jets' chances of making the playoffs. Click on the video player to watch his report.
Trouba wasn’t the only rookie to score. Mark Scheifele opened the scoring for the Jets with a power play marker at 3:25 in the first period, beating Dubnyk high glove side.
The Jets entered the second period all squared up at 2-2, but a sloppy defensive game led to a pair of Edmonton goals in a span of less than five minutes.
Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky opened the scoring at 3:38 in the second period, showing off some fancy stick work by outwaiting three Jets defenders before beating Ondrej Pavelec high glove side.
Jesse Joensuu would add the second on a power play, banging away in front of the net before finally sliding it past Pavelec.
It was the second power play goal for the Oilers in the game. Boyd Gordon converted with the man advantage at 18:08 in the first. Newly acquired tough-guy Luke Gadzic got the other goal for Edmonton.
The Jets would add a late one in the period to close the gap to one. Frolik finished a spin-around shot to tally his first as a Winnipeg Jet with 3:42 left in the frame.
Bryan Little also scored for Winnipeg. Defence partners Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom combined for five assists and a plus-2.
Ondrej Pavelec wasn’t great but came up big when he had to include a late Edmonton power play in which he faced a number of shots in close. He finished the night with 34 saves.
With the win, the Jets improve to 1-0-0 on the year. The team returns home to prepare for their next game Friday night against the L.A. Kings at the MTS Centre. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
First period summary
Goals – 1. EDM Gazdic (1) (Acton) 2:21 2. WPG Scheifele (1) PPG (Byfuglien, Enstrom) 3:25 3. Little (1) (Enstrom) 16:12 4. Gordon (1) (Schultz, Hemsky) 18:08
Penalties – EDM Petry (Delay of Game) 2:45, EDM Gordon (Tripping) 3:53, WPG Byfuglien (Tripping) 17:51
Second period summary
Goals – 5. EDM Hemsky (1) (Hall) 3:38 6. Joensuu (1) (Eberle, Arcobello) 7:53 7. Frolik (1) (Bogosian, Trouba) 16:18
Penalties – WPG Postma (Delay of Game) 7:31, EDM Smyth (Holding) 9:44, EDM Smid (Boarding) 13:24, EDM Gazdic (Fighting) 17:40, WPG Thorburn (Fighting) 17:40
Third period summary
Goals – 8. WPG Trouba (1) (unassisted) 11:06 9. Frolik (2) (Tangradi, Byfuglien)
Penalties – WPG Byfuglien (Delay of Game) 1:58, WPG Byfuglien (Roughing) 4:47, EDM Joensuu (Roughing) 4:47, WPG Stuart (Slashing) 12:16, WPG Team (Too many men) 17:26