Anze Kopitar’s Late Goal Lifts Los Angeles Kings over Winnipeg Jets 3-2

WINNIPEG — Anze Kopitar scored a power-play goal at 5:52 of the third period that stood up as the winner in a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Kopitar turned on the speed to get around Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey and took a backhand shot that bounced off goalie Connor Hellebuyck’s arm into the net.

Austin Wagner and Kurtis MacDermid also scored for the Kings (4-5-0), who won their second straight game after losing the previous three.

Jonathan Quick, who got an assist on Kopitar’s fourth goal of the season, stopped 26 shots for Los Angeles, which was starting a four-game road trip.

Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers scored for Winnipeg (5-6-0).

Hellebuyck made 38 saves for the Jets, who wrapped up a five-game homestand going 1-4.

The teams were tied 1-1 after the first period and 2-2 following the second.

Hellebuyck kept it close in his busy opening period.

Connor Hellebuyck Winnipeg Jets
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Kings were outshooting the Jets 11-2 just over seven minutes into the game after Winnipeg took a pair of early penalties.

Wagner’s goal at 10:32 was off a Hellebuyck rebound into an open side of the net, but the netminder was distracted by the stick of teammate Dmitry Kulikov that got tangled in his mask.

Connor beat Quick with a high shot at 17:07 after a Kings’ turnover in their end. His fourth goal of the season was Winnipeg’s first five-on-five goal in 255 minutes and 20 seconds, dating back to Oct. 13.

The visitors outshot the Jets 21-5 in the first period and boosted the margin to 32-17 after the second.

Los Angeles went ahead 2-1 at 4:16 of the second after a review of MacDermid’s shot determined the puck had crossed the goal line before Hellebuyck stopped it with his pad.

Ehlers tied it up after tipping in a point shot by Neal Pionk at 12:28.

Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice changed his top two lines during the second period, putting Ehlers up with centre Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine and moving Blake Wheeler alongside centre Bryan Little and Connor.

The Jets had three power plays in the second. They finished the game 0 for 5 with the man advantage. The Kings were 1 for 4.

Winnipeg plays the host Saturday in the Heritage Classic at Mosaic Stadium in Regina against the Calgary Flames. The Kings travel to St. Louis to play the Blues Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2019.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press