Brendan Lemieux scored twice to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night during a New Year’s Eve contest at Rogers Place. The Oilers have lost six in a row.
“It was a better effort than the game before but obviously not good enough to beat a team like that,” Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said.
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Ryan Nugent-Hopkins delivered the only goal of the first period. He took a pass from Connor McDavid and snapped it past Connor Hellebuyck with 5:10 left in the session. Alexander Petrovic, playing his first game with the Oilers, earned the second assist for his first point with the team.
The Jets pulled ahead in the second period with two goals 1:23 apart. Brandon Tanev tipped Jacob Trouba’s point shot, then Lemieux finished off a goal mouth scramble. On an Oilers power play, Draisaitl one-timed his 20th of the season to tie it. But only 29 seconds later, Blake Wheeler beat Mikko Koskinen up high to make it 3-2 Jets.
McDavid found Draisaitl alone in front for a backhand tally 7:23 into the third to make it 3-3. Off a faceoff win, Lemieux deflected Joe Morrow’s point shot to put the Jets ahead again with 5:58 left.
With Koskinen on the bench for an extra attacker, Draisaitl had an open shot with 23.2 seconds left. However, Hellebuyck came up with a glove save.
“It was an amazing save,” Draisaitl said. “He read the play really well. He was already over there by the time it got off my stick.”
It was the first game with the Oilers for Petrovic and Brandon Manning, both acquired in trades on Sunday. Forward Joe Gambardella also played his first NHL game.
“I think I was more nervous because I haven’t played in a few weeks than actually being nervous to be with a new group,” Manning said. “It was a long day. In the third, I could feel it catch up with me.”
“It was good to get the nerves out and I’m just really excited to be here,” Petrovic said.
The Oilers were 2-16-2 all-time on New Year’s Eve and haven’t won a Dec. 31 game since 1985. Their record this season drops to 18-18-3. They’ll visit Arizona on Wednesday.
—With files from Brenden Escott
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