Surging Jets add to slumping Devils’ woes

Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each scored twice Tuesday night for the host Winnipeg Jets, who pulled away from the skidding New Jersey Devils for a 6-3 win.

Cole Perfetti and Morgan Barron also scored for the Jets, who have won four of their past five games (4-1-0). Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves.

Timo Meier, John Marino and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils, who have lost four of five games (1-4-0) since Nov. 3, when star center Jack Hughes suffered an upper-body injury in a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Goalie Akira Schmid recorded 25 saves.

The teams combined for 21 shots in the first 28 scoreless minutes before the game turned into a back-and-forth affair.

Connor put the Jets ahead 8:07 into the second by putting back the rebound of his own shot. The left winger nearly scored again on the power play almost six minutes later, when his shot glanced off Schmid’s chest before Perfetti, stationed in the crease, poked it past the goalie with 6:06 remaining.

The Devils scored their first goal by taking advantage of a power play exactly a minute later, when Meier’s shot from the slot glanced off the stick of Jets defenseman Dylan Samberg and clipped off Hellebuyck’s glove.

The Devils tied the score just 72 seconds later, when Hellebuyck turned back shots by Luke Hughes and Curtis Lazar before Marino buried the rebound.

The score remained tied for 2:04 before Perfetti passed from the slot to Ehlers, who scored into the right corner of the net with Schmid stuck leaning to his left.

Connor scored his second goal 9:54 into the third after taking a no-look cross-ice pass from Mark Scheifele, going to one knee and firing a shot into the far corner of the net beyond Schmid’s stick.

Barron extended the lead to three goals with 7:02 remaining, when he beat Schmid from point-blank range after Vladislav Namestnikov checked Kevin Bahl into the boards and forced a turnover.

Mercer cut the lead to 5-3 by scoring with 5:43 left, but Ehlers ended the Devils’ comeback hopes by scoring an empty-netter with 1:30 remaining.