Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two goals and two assists as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 Friday night at Rogers Place.
The Oilers went in front on a power play 2:06 into the game when Nugent-Hopkins set up Leon Draisaitl for his 37th of the season.
“He’s playing with passion at a competitive level that, I think, is contagious,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said of Nugent-Hopkins.
That extended Draisaitl’s point streak to eleven games. Not long after, Kevin Stenlund was assessed a double minor for high sticking Nuge, but the Oilers couldn’t extend the lead.
“No stitches, no teeth gone, just a fat lip,” Nugent-Hopkins said post-game.
Nugent-Hopkins beat Connor Hellebuyck with a quick wrister 1:44 into the second, setting a new career high with his 29th of the year.
Halfway through the period, Nugent-Hopkins sent Kailer Yamamoto in on a breakaway. He went to the backhand for his seventh.
“All my goals up until these last two were tip-ins or around the net, so it’s definitely good to get a shot in on a breakaway goal.”
“He was hungry on pucks, rights from the get-go,” Nugent-Hopkins said of Yamamoto.
“I think that’s when he’s playing his best—when he’s tenacious and getting in there and creating loose pucks. I thought he was doing that early and it led to production for him.”
Only 40 seconds later, Yamamoto hammered a loose puck past Hellebuyck to make it 4-0.
“This year’s been a bit of a roller coaster for me — playing and getting injured and playing and getting injured — so I haven’t really been able to get into too good of a rhythm,”Yamamoto said.
“But I’ve really been feeling it these past few games.”
David Rittich replaced Hellebuyck (20 saves on 24 shots) to start the third. Nugent-Hopkins beat him on a power play early in the period for his 30th.
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby ended Stuart Skinner’s shutout bid with 13:38 on the clock.
The Oilers went up 6-1 on an alert play by Draisaitl.
He was taken down, driving to the crease and crashed into the Jets net. With a delayed penalty coming to Winnipeg and the post off its mooring, Draisaitl lifted the net back into the place.
He then got the puck and ripped it over Rittich’s shoulder.
“He found a puck-sized hole to put it into,” Nugent-Hopkins said of the goal.
“It was an amazing sequence, but the shot from that angle — all-world,” Woodcroft said.
“There’s not too many players that can make that shot from that distance,” Yamamoto added post-game.
The Jets had goals 1:06 apart from Mark Scheifele and Brenden Dillon.
Captain Connor McDavid had three assists in the game.
The Oilers, 34-21-8, will take on the Jets again on Saturday, back in Winnipeg. (The 630 CHED Face-off Show begins at 3:30 p.m., game starts at 5 p.m.)
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.