Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) makes the save off the shot from Winnipeg Jets' Mason Appleton (22) as Oilers' Darnell Nurse (25) defends during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Mike Smith makes 25 saves for shutout as Oilers blank Jets 3-0

WINNIPEG — The Edmonton Oilers made the most of a bye week to adjust parts of their game they felt needed work, and the effort showed in their first game back.

The well-rested Oilers looked sharp in their return to play as they blanked the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 in a pivotal North Division matchup on Saturday.

Mike Smith stopped all 26 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season and 42nd of his career.

“Any time you have a couple of days off, you can regroup and look at your game and tweak the things that need to be tweaked and build on the things that you like,” said captain Connor McDavid, who had two assists.

“The players did a good job of buying in at practice and working hard to keeping ourselves ready and coming out and getting rewarded for it.”

The Oilers were coming off a lopsided 5-0 defeat against the Calgary Flames last Saturday. That loss, coupled with a Winnipeg victory, pushed Edmonton into third in the division.

Coach Dave Tippett said his players were determined to use the six days off to work hard and get back to their winning ways.

“The last few days we’ve had good energy, there was a really positive feeling around our group,” said Tippett. “They were anxious to play, which is a good sign. We had the chance to get some good practice time in and work on our game a little bit.

“It’s not as if we did anything new this week. We reviewed some stuff that’s been in our game all along. When you have a chance to review some of it, you get refreshed with it.”

Tyson Barrie, Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson scored for Edmonton (26-12-2), who are now three points behind the Jets (27-15-3) with two games in hand.

The Oilers came out with a jump in their step and Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck needed to put on a show in the first period to keep them at bay.

In a two-minute span midway through the frame, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner denied Kailer Yamamoto and Chiasson on breakaways before shutting the door on Zack Kassian with a dangerous tip in front.

Both teams came into the game with identical second-ranked power plays but Edmonton finished 2 for 6 with the man advantage while Winnipeg went 0 for 3.

The Jets took four penalties in a row between the first and second periods and the Oilers’ dangerous power play made them pay on the fourth one.

With Neal Pionk in the box for hooking, the Oilers finally managed to sneak a puck past Hellebuyck when Barrie one-timed McDavid’s setup from the point, through traffic, at 12:00 of the second.

“Leon (Draisaitl) had five good looks from that one side and Tyson had a couple of good looks from up there,” said McDavid. “We’re a power play that’s going to take what you give us, and that’s what they wanted to give us. We did a good job capitalizing.”

The Oilers doubled their lead when Puljujarvi converted a beautiful no-look, one-handed pass by McDavid from behind the net at 6:37 of the third. Two Jets defencemen converged on McDavid, leaving Puljujarvi all alone in the crease.

“He’s the best player in the world for a reason,” said Jets forward Mark Scheifele of McDavid. “You just can’t give him time and space. He’s so tricky with the puck. He makes plays that a lot of people don’t make in this league. You have to be aware of him every time he’s on the ice.”

Chiasson put the game to bed for the visitors with Edmonton’s second power-play tally of the game when he redirected Barrie’s slap shot from the point at 12:57.

Notes: The Oilers improved to 5-2-0 versus Winnipeg this season. … Draisaitl had two assists for Edmonton. … Hellebuyck stopped 22 of 25 shots in defeat.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Rode
Sarcevic leads an impressive list of additions to RDC Kings soccer

In 2019 the RDC Kings soccer program took a major step forward… Continue reading

The Red Deer PCN Women's Fun Run will take on a different look this weekend with rising COVID-19 numbers.
Women’s Fun Run goes ahead this weekend in Red Deer

With new public health measures in place because of rising COVID-19 case… Continue reading

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw asked Albertans to limit travel throughout the province as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears 900 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports additional 2,211 COVID-19 cases

David Eggen, the NDP’s advanced education critic, said the UCP government has been focused on cutting funding to post-secondary institutions across Alberta. (Contributed photo)
NDP worry new status for Red Deer College doesn’t mean more funding

This week the province announced that RDC will become a polytechnic institute

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez (37) hits a single to drive in two runs against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2019 inductee Jayna Hefford speaks in Toronto on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, centre, makes a shot as lead Briane Meilleur, left, and second Shannon Birchard sweep against Denmark at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Canadian athletes, coaches applaud news of vaccine doses ahead of Tokyo

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Liberals pressed to ease access to EI parental leave to help unemployed moms

Katie Telford, Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, appears as a witness via videoconference during a House of Commons finance committee in Ottawa, Thursday, July 30, 2020. The Canadian Press has learned that Katie Telford has written members of the defence committee inquiry into allegations of sexual misconduct against Canada's former top military commander, offering to testify at their meeting Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

PM’s chief of staff offers to testify on Vance sexual misconduct allegations

Most Read