Jets’ Connor scores a hat trick late in the final period to score the winner against the Ducks
Kyle Connor begins to emerge from a mini-crisis.
Connor, who scored 47 goals last season, converted a perfect pass from forward Mark Scheifele, beating Ducks goaltender John Gibson for just his fifth goal this year.
« My game wasn’t too far off, » Connor said. « I put a little more emphasis on getting to the net tonight, just being around more pucks there. Some good plays from Scheif [Scheifele] and jokes [Sam Gagner] too.
« So just put yourself in good situations, that’s all you can ask for. I wasn’t too frustrated in the first 10, 12, 13 games there. »
WATCH | Connor scores a hat trick:
Winnipeg head coach Rick Bowness credited Connor for having a quiet start to the season.
« It’s persistence, » Bowness said. « That’s what goalscorers do. A goalscorer gets frustrated for two reasons – one, he doesn’t have a chance… The other part is you have chances and he doesn’t come in. Anyway way, you have to stay in the fight.
Trevor Zegras, who tied the score at 2-2 for Anaheim, blamed himself for the game winner.
« We played a good 59 minutes, » he said. « I make a bad play on the wall and my guy misses going in front of the net and the game is over. I would say it’s a bit on me. There have been good things, bad things. It’s getting old , It’s certain . »
« It’s really heartbreaking, » added Ducks coach Dallas Eakins. “We played a very good team game on the road. We stood there, rocking, with one of the best teams in the league right now. And we missed a puck game and a missed mission. [in] the last minute and it cost us. »
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 29 of 31 Jets shots (10-4-1) in front of 14,278 fans at Canada Life Centre.
Troy Terry also scored for Anaheim (5-11-1). Gibson made 29 saves in the loss.
Zegras tied the score at 2-2 just 28 seconds after Connor gave Winnipeg a 2-1 lead in the third period. Adam Henrique placed Zegras, who lifted the puck over Hellebuyck.
The Jets tied the game at 1-1 on the power play at 12:32 of the second period. With Ducks defenseman Dmitry Kulikov in the box for tripping, Connor pounced on a Pierre-Luc Dubois rebound to the side of the net and sent the puck over Gibson’s shoulder and into the net.
Anaheim opened the scoring midway through the first period. On a delayed penalty on Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk, Terry fired a shot from inside the blue line that eventually bounced off a masked Hellebuyck.