WINNIPEG - A little Mexican sunshine for Kyle Connor during the player break seems to be coming in handy.
Connor netted the game winning dagger for the second consecutive contest delivering the with 1:14 left in the third as the Winnipeg Jets came from behind for a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Jets have thrived in the final frame this season, scoring 70 of their 176 goals in the third.
"I don't know what it is. I think we tend to get stronger throughout the game," said Connor who sits third on the team with 22 goals.
"We learn from each other, we talk to each other as a team and yeah it's exciting to be a part of."
Video: POSTGAME | Kyle Connor
The Michigan product has nine goals and 13 points in his last 11 games including three in the last two Jets wins and the lone shootout tally from Tuesday night in Boston.
"What Kyle's doing now is getting that puck off his stick so darn fast except when he doesn't need to in the shootout goal. He places that thing almost perfectly in Boston," said Paul Maurice.
"But it's on and off his stick so fast. It's so difficult for that goaltender (Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky) in order to get from that corner and out to Kyle and get squared is nearly impossible."
Video: CBJ@WPG: Connor gives Jets late lead
Except for two shifts in Pittsburgh earlier this month, Winnipeg went through January without Nikolaj Ehlers playing the left side of the top unit with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Connor stepped into a spot where has played and had success before.
Maurice is liking how the first line is performing and it's because they are finding ways to get to the middle of the ice.
"They've been very good and what they are learning along with the team is how their offensive game has to change with the opponent." said Maurice.
The Jets head coach mentioned this morning that the Blue Jackets played more of a Western Conference style and Connor echoed his coaches thoughts.
"They're a tough team to play against," said Connor.
"They're going to battle. They've got some big boys there that like to hold onto pucks so it was a good test for us and a good result."
Connor knows Jackets defenceman Zach Werenski quite well, playing with him at the University of Michigan during the 2015-16 season. Werenski happened to be on the ice behind the goal line when Connor scored the game winner.
"He's an incredible player and an even better person," said Connor.
"I've known him for a good part of my life growing up playing hockey with him. You can just see him out there, the poise. You know he has so much skill. He's tough to play against as a forward coming down, he's got a great stick."