WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) – Nikolaj Ehlers scored his team-leading fifth goal during the third period to lift the Winnipeg Jets over the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Saturday night.
Ehlers took a feed from captain Blake Wheeler and wired a shot from the high slot over the stick-side shoulder of goalie Scott Darling 6:03 into the third. Winnipeg won its third straight after an 0-2 start.
Bryan Little also scored for the Jets.
Jeff Skinner had a power-play goal for Carolina.
On the winner, Wheeler had the puck in the corner and waited for Ehlers to skate himself open. Ehlers, skating backward through the slot from Darling’s right to his left, took the pass and caught the new Hurricanes goaltender going the wrong way, sniping a perfect wrist shot into the corner.
Ehlers’s goal was well timed for the Jets, who were in need of an offensive boost after a second-period drought in which they mustered just four shots on goal.
Winnipeg drew first when Little scored his first of the season 13:33 into the opening frame. Patrik Laine gained the zone and had the puck slide off his stick to Ehlers, who centered it to the high slot. Little was waiting there to slide a shot along the ice and past Darling.
The Hurricanes didn’t take long to respond, with Skinner putting away a power-play goal 1:45 later. Skinner, in the circle to the right of the goal, snapped a shot over the shoulder of goalie Connor Hellebuyck and under the crossbar to make it 1-1.
Carolina clamped down in the second period, allowing just four Winnipeg shots.
Hellebuyck stopped 28 shots to win his third straight game since starting the season behind Steve Mason on the depth chart. Hellebuyck did well to preserve the win, flashing a glove-hand save on a wide-open slap shot from Jaccob Slavin with 1:35 to play that drew a loud ovation from the home crowd.
Darling, making his first road start as the Hurricanes No. 1 goalie, made 19 saves.
NOTES: The Jets won despite facing four penalties, three of which they killed off. Winnipeg came into the game with one of the league’s worst percentages when a man down, having surrendered five goals in 17 such situations. … Saturday marked the first time in three outings a Hurricanes game was decided in regulation. Carolina’s first two games each went to an extra period, with a season-opening shootout win over Minnesota being followed by an overtime loss Tuesday against Columbus.
Hurricanes: Play at Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Jets: Host Columbus on Tuesday night.