By Darrin Bauming (@DarrinBauming)
WINNIPEG — Monday night’s National Hockey League game was a throwback to so many nights so many moons ago at the old Winnipeg Arena. The Edmonton Oilers come to town, work an up-tempo game, explode for four third period goals and spoil a Winnipeg Jets lead to win 5-3.
“It was a bit of a track meet at times,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “Being able to come out and really go to work in the third period to put it away was important to us.”
Watch post-game reaction from the Oilers:
Through 40 minutes, the Jets were clinging to a 2-1 lead on goals from Kyle Wellwood and Alexander Burmistrov, but the pace of the game finally caught up with them in the third.
“We look like a tired team. We look like an emotionally drained team. And we looked like it from start to end.”
An apt analysis from Winnipeg bench boss Claude Noel, as his team played its eighth game in 14 days, going 4-1-2 in that span.
Edmonton took advantage of an early third period high-sticking penalty charged to Blake Wheeler as Ryan Jones scored his 14th of the season on the power play to tie the game. A Lennart Petrell goal on a 2-on-1 rush gave the Oilers the lead 35-seconds later before Petrell set up Taylor Hall’s eventual game winner midway through the third.
A late Jordan Eberle breakaway goal made it 5-2 Edmonton, before Winnipeg’s Nik Antropov notched a ‘too little, too late’ power-play marker for his 9th of the season with just over a minute left.
Despite the loss, the Jets (30-27-8) remain in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 17 games remaining, one point ahead of Southeast Division rival Washington Capitals (20 games remaining) and two points back of the division-leading Florida Panthers (21 games remaining).
Winnipeg wraps their eight-game home stand with games on Thursday against the Panthers and Monday against the Buffalo Sabres before a quick road trip through Vancouver and Calgary on March 8 and 9.
ChrisD.ca video/Darrin Bauming