WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Kyle Connor scored twice and added an assist to propel the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night and put him in a tie atop the NHL’s goal-scoring leaderboard.
Connor’s goals gave him 13 on the season, tying him for most goals this season with Toronto's Auston Matthews.
“There are just certain players around the league who you play with or play against who have that goal-scoring knack,” said Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey, who had a career-high four assists that tied a franchise record for assists in a game.
“Obviously, it’s his skill, it’s his smarts, it’s his shot, it’s all of that. I’ve seen him score so many goals in games and more so in practice even, from impossible angles, from traffic,” he said.
Connor’s three points extended his point streak to four games, including seven goals and four assists.
Nikolaj Ehlers had a pair of goals and Cole Perfetti and Morgan Barron scored for the Jets.
“When (Connor is) going like he is, that puck just keeps on finding him,” Ehlers said. “His first goal, he shoots the puck, it comes right back out to him. He’s right there with that speed and is able to put it in. He’s a pretty important and good player for us.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for Winnipeg (8-5-2), which played the third of a five-game homestand.
Timo Meier, John Marino and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils (7-6-1), including a pair of goals on the power play for the league’s top-ranked team with the man advantage.
It was Marino's first goal of the season.
“At this point, just need a win. But yeah, it feels good,” Marino said.
Akira Schmid stopped 25 of 30 shots for New Jersey, which has lost three straight and four of its past five games.
There was no scoring in the first period, but the teams combined for five goals in the second period and Winnipeg led 3-2 after the barrage.
“We didn’t give up a lot in the first (period), obviously,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “Second, a couple mistakes that you’d like to have back.
“And then you look at a couple late goals, we’re getting first touch and we don’t execute. Another goal, same type of thing. We fall down on the penalty kill and it ends up in the back of your net … when that happens it’s tough to swallow.”
Winnipeg forward Rasmus Kupari left the game with eight minutes remaining in the first period after falling into the boards. Jets interim coach Scott Arniel said after the game it was Kupari’s shoulder and he was being evaluated.
The Devils were again without injured top centers Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier.
Devils: Visit Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Jets: Host Buffalo on Friday night.
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