Josh Morrissey’s sixth goal of the season, a one-timer off the rush, stood as the game winner with 6:10 left in regulation while Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor, and Dylan DeMelo each collected a pair of points to lift the Winnipeg Jets over the Seattle Kraken, 5-3 before 13,071 fans at Canada life Centre on Thursday.
Jordan Eberle made it interesting with his 14th goal of the season at 7:02 of the third period, tying the game with goals in back-to-back road games on a loose puck at the net.
Backup goaltender Eric Comrie, appearing for the ninth time in the season, made 20 saves while Philipp Grubauer took the loss with 24 stops.
“Tonight they took advantage of opportunities, when they had opportunities,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “Too many opportunities came off our stick. In the first period, we gave them nothing.”
“Give them credit for some good pressure, but those are areas we can affect in a much better way for ourselves.”
Vince Dunn’s power play goal and Marcus Johansson’s sixth goal of the season staked the Kraken to an early 2-0 lead by the time 12:15 was knocked off the clock, with Dunn converting the Kraken second straight power play opportunity backtracking to Monday’s loss against Toronto.
But the game changer came on a Kraken power play – in position to take a 3-0 lead by the end of the first or at least hold a two-goal lead through 20 minutes.
Winnipeg had other ideas. Racing up ice on a shorthanded rush with the clock winding down, Dominic Toninato finished a two-on-one with Adam Lowry with 13 seconds left to cut the Kraken lead in half, and Pierre Luc-Dubois’ snap shot off the rush tied the game just 1:45 into the second period, moments after he exited the penalty box.
“Start of the game, we started really well,” said Jordan Eberle. “The shorthanded goal, end of the first, it really deflated us. That can’t happen.”
Winnipeg scored three times off the rush, and once off a Kraken defensive zone turnover.
“End of the day, we hung (Grubauer) a little bit too much out to dry,” said Eberle. “They had chances, and that’s all stuff we created and gave them.”
Paul Stastny fed Blake Wheeler in the slot, off a turnover, for a 3-2 Winnipeg lead with 8:06 left in the period.
Kyle Connor added a late empty netter with less than a second left in the game.
Winnipeg has taken the first two games of the head-to-head series. Both teams will meet for one last time this season, April 13 in Winnipeg.
The Kraken, looking to bounce back for their third road win in four tries, will visit the Calgary Flames on Saturday at 7pm PT.
NOTES: Johansson broke a seven-game goal scoring drought with his first period goal … Carson Soucy retured to the lineup after missing eight straight games with a lower body injury … radio play-by-play voice Everett Fitzhugh moved to the TV side to handle the call with J.T. Brown, forming the first black play-by-play and color analyst crew in NHL broadcast history.