Full Scale Sports

The Winnipeg Jets Storm Back to Defeat Their New Division Rival Edmonton Oilers 5-4

Photo by Associated Press

In the season preview, we could’ve expected both teams to be fun to watch and score a lot of goals, that’s what we saw tonight in Edmonton.

The Oilers were without C’s Sam Gagner, and star franchise forward Ryan Nugent Hopkins. So in a de-facto sort of way, Taylor Hall had to be 1st line center tonight and he struggled on the face-off circle in the 1st period.

After all, Boyd Gordon was the veteran presence for them in the faceoff circle tonight, he stepped up with key draws but in the end they blew a 4-2 lead that they had near the end of period two.

Let’s recap the box score of tonight’s game

The first goal of the game is still being reviewed of whom to give the goal too, but it was originally scored under 4th liner Luke Gazdic, he was claimed waivers a few days ago from the Dallas Stars. It was his 1st career goal in the NHL. The assist was from Will Acton, son of the Edmonton Oilers coach. As of now, the goal was scored for Mike Brown, though that may change by tomorrow morning.

But Winnipeg stormed back with a power play goal scored by twenty year old Mark Scheifele with his 1st of the young season and was assisted by defensemen Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. The penalty came off a delay of game by Jeff Petry trying to clear the zone and the Jets took advantage.

After ten minutes of back and forth action Winnipeg C Bryan Little found the back of the net on Devan Dubynk to put his Jets in a 2-1 lead late in the first period. He was assited by Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien whom also assisted the Sheifele goal earlier in the period.

But it wouldn’t stay that way for long as the Jets committed a penalty 17:51 minutes into the period in  the form of Dustin Byfuglien who was called for tripping. That led to a PPG by C Boyd Gordon of the Oilers. The goal was assisted by Justin Schultz and longtime Edmonton winger Ales Hemsky. The score was 2-2 at the end of the 1st period.

After a rapid paced, high-scoring 1st period the second period was more of the same with some gritty play on both sides.

The first goal we saw was from Edmonton via RW Ales Hemsky who assisted a goal in the 1st, assisted by phenom Taylor Hall and Alternate captain Ryan Smyth.

Minutes later Edmonton struck again on the PP after a delay of game penalty from Paul Postma. The PPG came from Jesse Joensuu, assisted by Jordan Eberle and Mark Acrobello.

After the early surge in the second period the Oilers had a 4-2 lead after the goal by Joensuu but both teams had all their goals off pivotal turnovers in the neutral zone.

Another example would be the next strike Jets C Michael Frolik, the new addition from Chicago was assisted by Zach Bogosian and rookie Jacob Trouba. The goal kept Winnipeg within striking distance and gave them momentum heading into the third period.

After Frolik’s goal we saw Winnipeg take over, after a fight between Luke Gazdic and Chris Thornburn you saw a different Winnipeg team the rest of the way.

The first goal of the 3rd period was a laser wrist shot by rookie Jacob Trouba who tallied two points for the evening, the former Michigan star tied the game at 4-4 and cemented the Jets momentum in the third period.

The goal that made the major difference in the game was from a familiar face in a new place with the second goal of the night by Michael Frolik. Eric Tangrandi and Dustin Byfuglien on the assists for the Jets as they took a 5-4 lead late in the third.

From there the defense and starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec took it from there, fighting off a powerplay and an extra attacker to win their season opener on the road. Pavelec made 34 saves out of 38 shots tonight for the Jets. His competition Oilers G Devan Dubnyk saved 23 shots of 28 faced, in the end Dubnyk took defeat in this offensive showcase.

Both teams were sloppy early in the game but by games end the absence and lack of depth at C showed up for the Oilers as they couldn’t consistently win faceoffs as a team tonight and that was the key to defeat.

The Jets will play their next game vs. Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings, while the Oilers will look to finish their next opponent as they face the new look Canucks in Vancouver.

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