Dubois, Connor lift Jets past struggling Kings 3-2

NHL Hockey

LOS ANGELES (AP)Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice, Kyle Connor had three assists and the Winnipeg Jets used a third-period charge to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Thursday night.

Andrew Copp had a power-play goal for the Jets, who have won four straight. Eric Comrie allowed two goals on 32 shots in his season debut.

”That’s one of the toughest things to do in this league, is get on a streak, get on a roll, to be able to stack a couple, especially on the road,” Connor said. ”It’s good. I think we can build off these games.”

Rasmus Kupari and Adrian Kempe scored, and Jonathan Quick made 28 saves for the Kings. Los Angeles has not won since beating the Vegas Golden Knights in their opener. The Kings are 0-5-1 in their past six.

”We’re finding ways to lose games right now, which is a coach’s cliche, but that’s a fact,” coach Todd McLellan said. ”We’re finding ways to give them back late in the game.”

The Jets kept pushing with their speed to take advantage of the Kings, who lost defenseman Drew Doughty for at least eight weeks because of a bruised knee and Sean Walker for the season because of a torn ACL and MCL during their recent four-game trip.

Dubois split two Kings and chipped Connor’s pass in to put the Jets ahead 3-2 at 7:35 of the third period. Dubois has six goals and three assists during a six-game point streak, the longest of his career, while Connor has seven assists during a five-game streak.

”I just want to be consistent and consistently help the team win, and right now the puck’s going in, but I want to be helpful defensively, helpful offensively without the puck, with the puck, everything,” Dubois said.

Copp made it 2-2 at 2:07 of the third, tipping in Connor’s pass 24 seconds into a power play.

Winnipeg has scored at least three goals in each of its past six games (4-1-1).

After falling behind 1-0 at 4:07 of the first period on Dubois’ fifth goal, Kupari tied it up 1-1 by scoring on a breakaway at 11:23 after getting behind two Jets. With McLellan in search of more production from the bottom six, Kupari centered the third line and provided a lift even before getting his first goal of the season.

”Happy to score a goal and get on the score sheet, but it’s frustrating to lose like that,” he said.

Kempe put the Kings ahead 2-1 at 1:41 of the second period, netting his first goal on a wrist shot from the slot. A productive forecheck put Los Angeles in position to take the lead, with Phillip Danault and Alex Iafallo doing good work to keep the puck in the zone and were rewarded with assists.

But it wasn’t enough to overcome defensive breakdowns at critical moments late in the game, and forward Dustin Brown said the Kings must be better until Doughty returns.

”He’s one of those guys you can’t replace,” Brown said. ”It’s not just him, it’s Walks, too. Our two top defensemen are out, and life moves on. We’ve got to get better and find a way to at least keep the boat afloat.”

EXPENSIVE NIGHT’S WORK

Comrie grew up in Newport Beach, California, and had plenty of support in the stands from friends and family.

”Let’s just say I had a lot of tickets in the building, so I wasn’t getting paid for this game. Played for the love of the game tonight,” Comrie joked.

GAME NOTES

Jets D Neal Pionk had two assists. . The Jets were 1 for 4 on the power play and kept the Kings scoreless on two penalty kills. . Winnipeg played with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, but is getting close to full strength after Mark Scheifele cleared COVID-19 protocol on Thursday. Scheifele will not join the team for the last game of a three-game California road trip at the San Jose Sharks on Saturday and could return when the Jets host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

Jets: Visit San Jose on Saturday night.

Kings: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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