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Connor scores in OT, Jets add to Coyotes' woes with 4-3 win

WINNIPEG — Mark Scheifele enjoys playing with Kyle Connor and it showed Sunday.

Scheifele had a goal and three assists and Connor scored in overtime for the second straight game to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 victory that extended the Arizona Coyotes’ losing streak to 12 games.

Connor’s second goal of the game was a one-timer 33 seconds into the extra frame on a 3-on-1 for Winnipeg after Coyotes defenceman Sean Durzi and forward Nick Schmaltz collided with each other and fell in the other end of the ice.

“He’s hitting it well and he’s going to the right areas,” Scheifele said of Connor. “He’s making a lot of little plays that not a lot of people see. He’s been fun to play with.”

Gabriel Vilardi recorded one goal and assist for the Jets (36-15-5), who have won three straight and six of their past seven games.

Josh Morrissey contributed three assists and Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for Winnipeg in front of 14,324 fans at Canada Life Centre.

Schmaltz scored twice and Matias Maccelli had one goal for the Coyotes (23-29-5), who are 0-10-2 during their skid and began a five-game road trip.

“You can see even in our situation where we have a terrible streak, the guys never stop fighting,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said.

“They never stop working for each other and having the back of each other, so there’s a lot of positive in that process.”

Connor Ingram stopped 28 shots for Arizona, which hasn’t defeated the Jets since Nov. 29, 2021.

“We’re trying to work our way out of this and it sucks,” Schmaltz said.

“We get a grade-A look in overtime there, (Durzi) makes a heck of a move and (we) just collide and it’s tough, 3-on-1 (rush for the Jets), so it’s frustrating for sure.”

The Jets led 3-1 after the first period, but goals by Maccelli early in the second and Schmaltz 1:04 into the third tied it up.

The teams scored a combined three power-play goals in the first period.

Scheifele opened the scoring at even strength 2:06 into the first, using a puck that had bounced off the end boards to send a backhand past Ingram.

Schmaltz tied it on the power play at 13:45 off a rebound. Connor then recorded his team-leading 22nd goal of the season one minute later with the man advantage. Vilardi made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 13:34.

Connor has scored in three straight games and extended his point streak to a season-high five games (four goals, six assists).

Jets coach Rick Bowness is liking the trio of Scheifele, Connor and Vilardi on the power play.

“Two big goals tonight but, as we said all year, get those three guys together and give them a chance to get some chemistry on the power play and it should turn around. It has so far,” he said.

The Jets were 2-for-3 with the man advantage and the Coyotes went 1-for-2.

Maccelli notched his 10th of the season with a redirection to squeeze the score 3-2 at 6:11 of the second.

Coyotes forward Clayton Keller left the game in the second period and didn’t return because of an upper-body injury. Tourigny had no update.

“Obviously (Keller) is an important player, but the way the guys reacted, they didn’t lose a beat,” Tourigny said.

“When (Keller) went down, we had the momentum and we kept the momentum.”

Schmaltz tied it early in the third after Alex Kerfoot won a puck battle behind Winnipeg’s net and fed the puck to Schmaltz out front.

BETTMAN COMING TO TOWN

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is visiting Winnipeg to watch Tuesday’s Jets game against the St. Louis Blues.

He’s holding a press conference with local media two hours before the game, when he’s expected to talk about the Jets’ decreasing season-ticket numbers and address the club’s future viability.

Bettman will then go to ice level and talk to fans, as well as answer some of their questions submitted ahead of time.

NOTES

Jets forward Sean Monahan (illness) didn’t play. … Morrissey has nine assists in a four-game point streak. … Winnipeg has won all four games against the Coyotes this season, and 10 consecutive matches.

UP NEXT

Jets: Host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Coyotes: Visit the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2024.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press