A dangerous, high-scoring tilt — as most expected — was nowhere to be found Saturday night in Winnipeg.
The Edmonton Oilers potted two power goals to blank the Winnipeg Jets 3-0.
Mike Smith made 26 saves on the way to collecting his third shutout of the year. Smith improves to 15-4-2.
The goals came courtesy of Tyson Barrie (6), Jesse Puljujarvi (10) and Alex Chaisson (7).
Barrie, along with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, all enjoyed multi-point nights.
Connor Hellebuyck allowed three goals on 25 shots as he falls to 21-12-3.
“We had some chances, we had opportunities to make plays and we just couldn’t connect or we missed the net,” said Adam Lowry after the game.
“It didn’t seem like anything was necessarily easy for us.”
The Oilers have now won three straight and are guaranteed to win the season series with Winnipeg after taking a 5-2 lead with Saturday’s win.
“When you give them power play opportunities and let them work that puck around they’re going to make you pay,” said Mark Scheifele.
“We have a little break here to get our bodies feeling good and we need to use this time to our advantage,” he continued,
The whistle was blown four times in the opening 19 seconds. Two of those stoppages saw each team collect an early penalty.
Winnipeg’s Mason Appleton went off for high-sticking, while Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie received two minutes for delaying the game. Scoring chances were few and far between as nearly two minutes of 4-on-4 action created just a handful of harmless shots.
A defensive gaffe by Logan Stanley allowed Kailer Yamamoto to race past the rookie blueliner all alone, but fortunately a fully stretched-out Connor Hellebuyck was there to save the day. That marked the game’s first high-danger scoring chance just prior to the halfway point of the first period.
The breakaway opportunity evolved into a slew of chances for Edmonton as Hellebuyck stood tall, making three stellar saves in the following few moments.
Winnipeg successfully killed off an Andrew Copp tripping penalty exactly a minute before a scoreless first period came to a close.
The Jets blocked nine shots in the opening stanza, leaving Connor Hellebuyck 10 pucks to turn aside.
Mike Smith saw nine shots come his way at the other end of the ice.
Early in the second, Logan Stanley flicked the puck over the boards and was given a delay of game penalty.
Leon Draisaitl ripped a shot off the post after a lengthy Edmonton cycle session on the power play but Winnipeg escaped with another successful penalty kill.
Just over five minutes later, the Jets found themselves back in the sin bin after a Neil Pionk hooking penalty. Pionk hooked Joakim Nygard, preventing the speedy forward from a breakaway.
This time the Jets couldn’t deliver another solid kill.
Less than 30 seconds into the man advantage, Tyson Barrie one-timed a Connor McDavid pass from the point to the back of the net.
Barrie’s sixth goal of the season saw the scoreboard read 1-0 after forty minutes of action at Bell MTS Place.
Throughout much of the first two periods, the Oilers dominated in the department of generating scoring chances. And it showed on the shot clock.
Edmonton outshot Winnipeg 22-13 through forty minutes.
Despite a strong start to the final frame, the Jets fell victim to another deadly Connor McDavid pass.
The Oilers’ captain fed Jesse Puljujarvi from behind the Winnipeg net and just like that Edmonton’s lead increased to two.
The one-timer marked Puljujarvi’s 10th tally of the year and served as McDavid’s 71st point of the campaign.
With Nikolaj Ehlers (cross-checking) serving Winnipeg’s fifth minor penalty of the evening, the Oilers powerplay struck again for good measure.
Alex Chaisson managed to get a stick on a Tyson Barrie point shot, directing it past Hellebuyck with 7:03 left in regulation.
Chaisson’s seventh goal of the year wrapped up the scoring as Mike Smith posted his third shutout of the season.
Smith moves to 15-4-2 on the year.
The Jets have now lost four straight games to the Oilers. Edmonton leads the season series 5-2 with two games left on the schedule.
The win moves Edmonton just five points back of Winnipeg for second place in the north division.
The Oilers improve to 26-15-2, while the Jets fall to 27-15-3.
The Jets have four scheduled days off before hosting the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Jets’ captain Blake Wheeler took the morning skate Saturday but didn’t play, so it’s likely he returns to the line-up for what could be a showdown for first place in the NHL’s north division.
Paul Edmonds and Jamie Thomas will have the call at 6 p.m., with the Anchor Products pre-game show commencing at 4 p.m. on 680 CJOB.
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