By JACK MAGRUDER – Associated Press
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Nino Niederreiter scored three goals and Brenden Dillon had his first two of the season, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Dillon broke a 3-3 tie 3:23 into the third period when his slap shot from the left circle hit the far post and ran in. Niederreiter then knocked home Dillon’s shot that went wide for the lead at 7:16.
It was Niederreiter’s third career hat trick. All three of his goals were from the right.
“The last few games we played together, we knew we had to play simple,” he said. something we truly believe is the right thing to do, and we want it to be our identity. It was great to get money today.”
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The Jets (5-4-2) overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 while halting a three-game losing streak. They have points in six of their last seven games after a pair of overtime losses. They also improved to 23-6 against the Coyotes since 2011.
“For us and our group, we have to understand that Picasso is not going to be there every 60 minutes and there is going to be some adversity in the games,” Dillon said. “Arizona is playing well. They have a lot of skill. We got to our game there in the second period.”
JJ Moser, Liam O’Brien and Lawson Crouse scored for the Coyotes, who have lost eight in a row in the series. The Coyotes have won three of their first four at the 5,000-seat Mullett Area and were looking for their best home start since winning nine of 10 in 2013-14.
The Jets are 3-1-2 under interim coach Scott Arniel, who is in charge while coach Rick Bowness is on leave of absence.
“It’s about that second and third chance,” said Arniel. “When you get it to that net, it’s crashing and it’s hitting the guy you’re going against for the puck, and that’s what we did a good job of.”
Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves for the Jets, and Karel Vejmelka had 22 stops for the Coyotes.
The Coyotes scored the only goal of the first period when Moser skated in alone and beat Hellebuyck at 5:31. Matias Maccelli picked up an assist, extending his career point streak to eight games.
O’Brien made it 2-0 after a turnover from Mark Scheifele, whose pass from behind was intercepted by Jack McBain and put into the net. Hellebuyck saved the opening shot but O’Brien was in on the rebound at 5:49 of the second period.
“They played really solid,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “They are a tough team. They create possession. They were better than us when they broke out. We were too slow on the breakout. The puck wasn’t moving, and from there nothing was going offensively. They were able to stop us, and we stayed in our zone forever.”
Niederreiter and Dillon scored 2:34 apart in the second, tying it at 2. Niederreiter took a pass from Mason Appleton at 7:31, and Dillon scored on a wrist shot at 10:05 off a cross-ice pass from Vladislav Namestnikov .
Crouse got his third goal in two games with two seconds left on a power play at 14:47, when he put a rebound into an open side of the net. Niederreiter connected on a power play at 17:01.
Jets: At St. Louis on Tuesday.
Coyotes: Host Seattle on Tuesday.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL
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