Leon Draisaitl’s hat trick wasn’t enough as the Edmonton Oilers were downed 7-5 by the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
“You don’t win a lot of games when you give up six goals, or seven with an empty net. We can handle a lot of situations better than we have,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft. saw things appear that we haven’t seen in a long time.”
For the third straight game, the Oilers scored an early power play goal with Draisaitl tapping in a rebound. It was his 25th power-play goal of the season, breaking the team record he set last season. The Jets responded with goals from Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey to lead 2-1 after one.
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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins set up Mattias Janmark for a shorthanded 2-on-1 goal early in the second. Draisaitl stole Scheifele’s breakout pass and covered a backhand past Connor Hellebuyck from a sharp angle to make it 3-2 for the Oilers. It was the 40th of the season for Draisaitl. Adam Lowry and Kyle Capobianco responded with goals at 22 seconds to restore the Jets’ lead.
“They played a good game, but obviously we gave them way too many chances,” said Draisaitl.
Draisaitl took advantage of a power play by Connor McDavid for his seventh career hat trick in the regular season with 10:12 remaining in second. This gave McDavid 58 power-play points, breaking the team record set by Wayne Gretzky in 1981/82. Morgan Barron beat Jack Campbell on a breakaway, then Morrissey scored on the power play with 1.2 seconds left in the period to put the Jets up 6-4.
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Three minutes into the third, newcomer Nick Bjugstad caught a pass from Devin Shore and netted his 14th.
“I was just doing my best to try to get my feet under me,” said Bjugstad, who was acquired from Arizona on Thursday. “I would have loved to find the first game winner here.”
The Oilers had the majority of the pressure in the third, shooting 14 on goal, but Hellebuyck made several clutch saves. Dylan DeMelo put it away with a late empty-net goal.
Hellebuyck finished with 30 saves while Campbell made 32 saves. Campbell has allowed four or more goals in four straight starts.
“A couple that I want to recover. It would have made the difference,” Campbell said. “I just know I can be so much better for this group. I will definitely keep working to get there.
“We scored well enough to win, but we didn’t defend well enough to win,” Woodcroft noted.
The Oilers, 34-22-8, visit the Buffalo Sabers on Monday (630 CHED, Face-off Show at 4 p.m., game at 5:30 p.m.).
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