Jets edge Columbus 4-3 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Andrew Copp scored the game winner with 1:54 left in regulation as the Winnipeg Jets edged the Colmubus Blue Jackets by a 4-3 score Saturday night.

Copp intercepted a clearing attempt by Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins before dropping the disc to the ice and firing a weak wrister which defenceman David Savard attempted to block with his glove.

He got a piece of it, just enough to change it's direction, confusing Merzlikins before skidding across the goal line which to give the Jets the win.

The goal was Copp's 4th of the season and second point of the night as he added an assist.

"Yeah. The way the game went, it was kind of back and forth and you just never really know, especially with two minutes left. You pick off and the goalie is scrambling to get back to the net, just try to get one there and luckily enough it kind of hit off a D-man and slid in. Kind of a fortuitous bounce but with two minutes left, you’ll take them any way you can get them.," said Copp.

The win appeared unlikely for Winnipeg as they suffered three key injuries in the third period.

The Jets blue line was left with four defencemen for most of the third period as both Josh Morrissey and Nathan Beaulieu left the game and did not return.

To add to the injury situation, starting goaltender Laurent Brossoit departed with cramps 11:19 into the third and was replaced by Connor Hellebuyck.

The win was Winnipeg's 6th in their last 8 games.

Jets defenceman Lucas Sbisa said the four defenceman left on the Jets bench didn't get fancy.

"One guy goes down, then two guys go down. It’s not something you see happen too often. All of a sudden there’s plenty of room on the bench, but you don’t get to sit on it too long. It’s fun. The four of us, we just rallied together and see it as a challenge. Obviously, there’s a few adjustments you gotta make. You keep (shifts) short for 20 minutes and do whatever it takes," he said.

Blake Wheeler also had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg.

Nikolaj Ehlers and Matthieu Perreault each scored for the Jets, who moved to 14-9-1.

Laurent Brossoit and Connor Hellebuyck combined to make 32 saves.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, Seth Jones and Gustav Nyquists scored for Columbus.

Elvis Merzlikins turned aside 27 shots for the Blue Jackets, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped.

Pierre Luc Dubois scored on the power play just under the five minute mark.

With Lucas Sbisa off for hooking Dubois snapped a rebound off an Oliver Bjorkstrand shot past Winnipeg goaltender Laurent Brossoit from inside the right faceoff circle.

The goal was his 10th of the season as Dubois extended his point streak to 4 games.

Blake Wheeler tied the game at 8:23 when Jack Roslovic broke down the right side boards before hitting the Jet captain with a crisp pass at the top of the circle before firing the puck through his pads to make it 1-1.

The goal was his 6th of the season.

Nikolaj Ehlers gave Winnipeg the lead 5:19 into the second period.

The Jets leading scorer worked a give-and-go with Blake Wheeler before snapping the disc past Merzlikins to make it 2-1.

The goal was his 11th of the season and his 4th goal in his last 5 games.

The assist was also Wheeler's 600th point as a Thrasher/Jet.

Seth Jones tied the contest 6:30 into the second on the power play.

Zach Werenski got control of the puck at the left point before switching positions with Jones and setting him up for the one timer which the Blue Jackets defenceman executed, blowing a low slap shot past Brossoit to make it 2-2.

Gustav Nyquist gave Columbus the lead 43 seconds later when he snapped a puck sitting in the crease through Brossoit's pads after the disc careened off of defenceman Neal Pionk following a save by Connor Hellebuyck just and sat there.

The goal was his 4th of the season.

Matthieu Perreault tied it up 13:43 into the second after converting an Andrew Lowry feed from the corner.

Perreault got his shot off, but it fluttered like a knuckleball and landed just inside the right post.

The goal was his 6th of the season.

Andrew Copp scored the go-ahead goal with 1:54 left in regulation to make it 4-3 Jets.

A clearly exasperated Columbus Head Coach John Tortorella threatened to leave the media scrum after the game if anyone asked about his goaltender but managed to get through the post-game interview saying, "Oh we were trying, we were trying. They were doing a lot of, they know they're down four D so they were trying to protect them also." "But we were the better team. We were the better team that found a way to lose," he added.

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice credited his defence for holding onto the lead in the third.

"They’ve got miles on them too, because we just came off (the road trip). You go into Tampa and your defence has to play at its top end. The Nashville and Dallas (games) are heavy games, there’s a cost to them. But what you saw is the way that we’ve been playing, just competing on everything. Trying to block shots, get up in the play when you can, finish checks, close people out. Those guys were great. Lowry’s line. The Wheeler line was dynamic. For a group of guys...they’re at the end of a trip, they competed hard and fast and were sharp too. We had a lot of really good performances. As a group, maybe, you know what, as a group we were great. A big part of this is just heart. And they get full marks for that."

SHOTS-COLUMBUS 35 WINNIPEG 31

ATTENDANCE-15,325

Last modified on Sunday, 24 November 2019 04:14
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.