TAMPA, Fla. â€” The Winnipeg Jets have struggled this season in the second period, and early on Tuesday night it looked like more of the same.
Then came an unexpected response after Tampa Bay tied things up.
Nikolaj Ehlers had two goals, including a penalty shot during Winnipeg’s three-goal second period, and the Jets beat the Lightning 6-4 on Tuesday night.
“I like the very first shift after they scored the tying goal,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “We got the momentum back.”
Winnipeg had been outscored 52-25 in the second period entering the game.
The Jets, coming of a pair of losses where they were outscored 11-5, also got goals from Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine. Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves.
“I can’t remember a game in recent history, not just this season, that we had that many A-chances over the course of the game,” Maurice said. “I don’t think the score is going to be flattering to the goaltenders except there were some fantastic saves in that game.”
Matthew Peca got his first NHL goal for the Lightning. Nikita Kucherov had two goals, Ondrej Palat also scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 28 shots.
“Clearly coach Maurice’s speech was lot better after the first period than mine,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “When you break it down, they played two good periods of hockey and we played one. Usually that means the team playing two is going to win the game.”
The Jets got outshot 17-6 in the first period, but Scheifele scored on the power play for the lone goal.
After Peca tied it early in the second, the Jets scored three times to lead 4-1 after two periods.
Ehlers scored on his penalty shot at 4:30 after being hooked by Kucherov. Trouba got his goal just 49 seconds after Ehlers, and Byfuglien made it 4-1 with 5:16 left in the period.
“We got the puck to the net and it worked out in the end,” Ehlers said.
Palat and Ehlers traded goals in the third before Kucherov got two power-play goals, with the second pulling Tampa Bay within 5-4 at 17:29.
Laine, who also had two assists, helped secure the win with an empty-netter with 1:23 remaining.
“We were able to close it out,” Maurice said. “It wasn’t easy.”
NOTES: Ehlers also had an assist. … Lightning RW Ryan Callahan played after missing 15 games due to hip issues. … Tampa Bay C Steven Stamkos, expected to be sidelined until March after knee surgery, is riding a stationary bike. He is also walking without crutches. … Winnipeg D Tyler Myers, out 24 straight games with a lower-body injury, had a limited on-ice workout. … Lightning C Brian Boyle, injured in the second period of Saturday’s 3-1 win over Carolina, didn’t play. … Jets RW Blake Wheeler had two assists and has 17 assists and 25 points in 28 games against Tampa Bay.
Jets: Play at Florida on Wednesday night.
Lightning: Complete a five-game homestand Thursday night against Nashville.
Mark Didtler, The Associated Press