WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Kyle Connor doesn’t want to get worked up about his hot start to the season.
Connor scored for a third straight game and the Winnipeg Jets overcame Ilya Kovalchuk’s first NHL goal in five years to beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Tuesday night.
“Trying not (to get) too high or too low throughout the season,” Connor said. “It’s a long season here. But playing with confidence is a big thing for me.”
Mark Scheifele also scored and Connor Hellebuyck made 16 saves for the Jets, Los Angeles Kings jerseys who outshot the Kings 39-17.
“The guys were really good in front of me, so I could just enjoy the game,” Hellebuyck said.
Jack Campbell, replacing injured starter Jonathan Quick, stopped 37 shots in his ninth career game.
Quick suffered a lower-body injury during practice last Saturday. Campbell got the nod Sunday and backstopped the Kings to a 4-2 win over Detroit.
“(Campbell) comes in tough spots and the team doesn’t play well in front of you, but he still gives you a chance to get a point at the end of the day, so it’s terrific,” Kings coach John Stevens said.
“But you can’t play the game on your heels. You just sit back and let a team come at you, they’re going to make you play in your end a lot.”
Kovalchuk got his first goal since returning from Russia with the Kings this season on a three-year deal. It was the 418th of his career.
The 35-year-old Kovalchuk got behind Winnipeg’s defensemen, skated to the net and redirected Drew Doughty’s pass at 6:26 of the opening period for a 1-0 lead.
“I prefer to win than score goals,” Kovalchuk said. “It wasn’t enough so we will be better next game.”
The Jets tied it four minutes later when forward Brandon Tanev spun away from a defender along the boards and sent a quick pass to the slot for Scheifele’s first goal of the season at 10:59.
The Jets had almost back-to-back power plays near the midway point of the second period and were successful on the second one when Connor poked the puck in with his stick after Blake Wheeler’s shot went off Campbell and began heading toward the goal line at 10:21.
Winnipeg’s shot advantage in the second was 19-5.
Los Angeles had its first power play of the game midway through the third, but Hellebuyck made a big save and then got a piece of another shot that hit the crossbar.
Winnipeg defenseman Tyler Myers was called for high-sticking with 3:02 remaining. Campbell went to the bench with about 90 seconds left to make it 6-on-4 but couldn’t convert with the advantage.
Kings: Play the second game of their four-game trip in Montreal on Thursday night.
Jets: Travel to Nashville for a game Thursday night.