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game recap

Blake Wheeler helps Jets defeat Coyotes

Scores go-ahead goal in second period, Winnipeg wins for third time in four games

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It wasn't another eight-goal explosion, but the Winnipeg Jets were in control once they got their legs going against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

Blake Wheeler scored the go-ahead goal midway through the second period to help the Jets to a 3-2 victory at Gila River Arena.


WATCH: All Jets vs. Coyotes highlights


Nikolaj Ehlers scored what proved to be the game-winner late in the third period for Winnipeg (7-7-1), which won for the third time in its past four games. Andrew Copp scored his second goal in as many games, and Connor Hellebuyck made 23 saves in his fifth win.

Mark Scheifele assisted on Copp's goal for his 10th point in the past four games and his NHL-leading 19th of the season.

Video: WPG@ARI: Ehlers buires point-blank wrist shot

The Jets defeated the Dallas Stars 8-2 at home Tuesday, and coach Paul Maurice said there might have been a little hangover. Winnipeg had three shots and not much jump in the first period, but it dominated from there.

"We struggled a little coming off an eight-goal night figuring we were going to do this a little differently," Maurice said. "But it's a good sign when you can make the necessary adjustments in your game and build and play your best in the third period of a 2-1 game."

Radim Vrbata and Tobias Rieder scored for Arizona (5-8-0), and Louis Domingue made 24 saves.

The Jets capitalized on a Coyotes turnover to take a 1-0 lead. Toby Enstrom took the puck away from Arizona forward Shane Doan along the boards in the neutral zone and shoveled it ahead to Scheifele, who sent Copp into the Coyotes zone with speed. Copp beat Domingue to the blocker side with a wrist shot from the left circle at 4:50.

"Scoring the first goal was important for us and to get out [with the game tied] the way that first period went was good," Copp said.

Video: WPG@ARI: Vrbata rifles a slap shot into the twine

The Coyotes tied it 1-1 at 9:48 of the first thanks to some hard work in the corner by Jordan Martinook against two Jets. The puck squirted out to the right faceoff dot, where Vrbata stepped into a one-timer that beat Hellebuyck.

Vrbata's fifth goal tied him with Martinook and Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the Coyotes lead.

The Jets controlled the second period despite being outshot 11-9. They forced the Coyotes to take two minor penalties and scored one second after a holding call on defenseman Jakob Chychrun ended. Wheeler took a nice backhand pass from Nic Petan and shot past Domingue's glove at 10:18 to put Winnipeg ahead 2-1.

"We had a good start, but we gave them a few power plays, and they capitalized and played their system well from there," Vrbata said. "We didn't get a lot going once the momentum shifted."

Ehlers scored to give Winnipeg a 3-1 with 3:14 remaining. The puck slid right to him in the left faceoff circle after Ekman-Larsson's poor pass from behind the Arizona net deflected off Patrik Laine's stick.

Rieder scored with 1.2 seconds left to make it 3-2.

Video: WPG@ARI: Rieder lights the lamp in the final seconds


Goal of the game

Off a set play, Petan sent a backhand saucer pass to Wheeler on the inside edge of the right faceoff circle, and his one-timer beat Domingue through the five-hole. Wheeler's fourth goal of the season also was his fifth in 16 career games against the Coyotes, who selected him with the fifth pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.

Video: WPG@ARI: Wheeler beats Domingue with quick wrister


Save of the game

The Coyotes got in alone on Hellebuyck a few times, but he stopped each one. His best save came at 1:45 of the third period when he closed the pads to deny a Tobias Rieder backhand shot with the Jets clinging to a 2-1 lead.

Video: WPG@ARI: Hellebuyck denies Rieder on the doorstep


Unsung moment of the game

The Coyotes had 25 hits through the second period, five by Connor Murphy, whose best came when he knocked Winnipeg forward Chris Thorburn to the ice just inside Arizona blue line at 5:52 of the second.


Highlight of the game

Copp raced into the Coyotes zone on the left wing and beat Domingue to the far side to open the scoring. He has two goals and four points in five games since being recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League.

Video: WPG@ARI: Copp flicks a wrist shot into the twine


They said it

"I don't think we have answers for you. We have been inconsistent all year. We have to try to keep finding the consistency within ourselves, otherwise it's not going to be the season we want." -- Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue


"We didn't really have our best game and we found a way to win. We just figured out a way to scratch and claw for two points and that's a good sign." -- Jets captain Blake Wheeler


Video: WPG@ARI: Hellebuyck denies Duclair on the breakaway


Need to know

Doan scored Arizona's first goal in its season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 15 but hasn't scored since (12 games).


What's next

Jets: At the Colorado Avalanche on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Coyotes: Home against the Boston Bruins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, NESN, NHL.TV)


Video: Hellebuyck makes 23 saves in Jets' 3-2 victory

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