OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Mark Scheifele broke out of his slump in a big way.
Scheifele snapped a 12-game scoring drought with three power-play goals, helping the Winnipeg Jets beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Thursday night.
“It’s not about goals, it’s not about assists, it’s about playing the right game,” Scheifele said. “You get your chances, you watch your games over so you know what to fix, you know what to work on and that’s what it’s all about.
“You continue to work on your game whether you’re scoring or not, but like I said before the main focus here is winning games.”
Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for the Jets (32-25-5), who improved to 7-2-1 over their last 10 and lead the wild-card standings in the Western Conference. Laurent Brossoit made 29 saves for his sixth win of the season.
Nick Paul scored for the Senators (21-29-11). Marcus Hogberg stopped 29 shots.
“We just didn’t play smart enough,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We turned a lot of pucks over. I didn’t think we got to their net nearly enough. We’ve got to be a little bit harder offensively.”
Newly acquired Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo faced his former team in his first game with Winnipeg. The Senators traded DeMelo to the Jets on Tuesday night in exchange for a third-round pick.
DeMelo said it was a little strange to line up against his former teammates, but he liked what he saw from the Jets.
“I was obviously impressed with our team,” he said. “I think we’ve got a really good group of guys in here. Once we got settled in and played our game the power play came up huge with a couple goals and then we really found our game and you can tell the guys can make some plays out there.”
Trailing 4-1, the Senators pushed back in the third, but were unable to find a way to beat Brossoit again.
Scheifele made it a hat trick when he scored late in the period.
The Jets extended their lead early in the second when Connor won the battle for position in front of the net and jammed home a loose puck.
Winnipeg made it 4-1 just over a minute later. Ehlers beat Ron Hainsey to a rebound in front and put it past Hogberg.
Paul opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the slot, giving the Senators a 1-0 lead 11:50 into the first.
“Starting to feel confident,” said Paul, who scored his eighth of the season. “Feeling good with the puck and just ended up trying things. I work on my shot a lot.”
Scheifele then scored twice in a span of 1:11 to hit the 25-goal mark for the year.
Ottawa’s Drake Batherson was involved in his first NHL fight when he dropped the gloves with Winnipeg’s Jansen Harkins in the first period.
NOTES: Ottawa’s Vladislav Namestnikov was a late scratch, leading to speculation he could be moved before Monday’s trade deadline. … Ottawa G Anders Nilsson has been practicing with his teammates, but there remains no date for his return following a concussion. … D Cody Goloubef was placed on waivers by the Senators.
Jets: Visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Senators: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
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