PREVIEW: Andrew Copp leads hot 2nd line for Jets vs. Canucks

Jan 21, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators center Colin White (36) is checked by Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp (9) in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Since Andrew Copp joined the Winnipeg Jets’ second line with Paul Statsny and Nikolaj Ehlers, it has soared.

The trio has combined for 20 points over the past three games, including 10 in a 6-4 victory against the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

The Jets will continue their seven-game homestand Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.

“I’m in no hurry to break that up because of the way Stastny’s line has played,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “The flip to put Andrew Copp on that (Stastny) line was to add some defensive stability to it and then it took off.”

Copp had a four-point game with two goals and two assists and has a five-game point streak, both career highs.

“I feel like I’ve expanded my game,” Copp said. “I haven’t tried to change it too much but I’ve tried to increase my offensive output, make a few more plays, be a little more crisp, and execute. It came to fruition (Tuesday).”

Ehlers also had a four-point night.

“Playing with Stas and Copper right now, they’re amazing players. They’re making it so much easier for me to use my speed,” said Ehlers, whose 11 points this season are among the league leaders.

“They’re in the right places all the time. They’re two fantastic players and we’re able to use our strengths as much as possible in helping each other out. We want to try and continue doing that, of course, and get better.”

The trio combined for three of Winnipeg’s four third-period goals Tuesday as the Jets rallied from a 3-2 deficit entering the final stanza.

“Stas is so consistent, he’s so smart, and he goes to the right areas all the time. Nik is doing that and using his speed and being dynamic too,” Copp said. “When we’ve got into the areas, we’ve gone to the net hard, we’ve put the puck in the net on our opportunities. We’ve been able to change some games for us.

“It builds confidence. Having some of the success we’ve had as a line, and I’ve had individually, it builds confidence. It reinforces that I’m doing the right things. It’s an ongoing process in an ongoing game. But it definitely builds confidence that I’m doing the right things to get better for game time.”

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The Canucks are coming off a three-game sweep of Ottawa in which they outscored the visiting Senators 16-3.

Brock Boeser had two goals and an assist, Elias Pettersson added a goal and an assist and Quinn Hughes had two helpers for the Canucks in a 4-1 victory Thursday. Braden Holtby made 36 saves and also set up a goal.

The Canucks had lost five of their previous six games entering the series.

“The three games here were really big just to get things back on track before things really slide,” Hughes said. “I think our team has a high standard and everyone wants to win, so we can get down on each other fast, but we pick each other up and to win this series is a good step in the right direction.”

Added Boeser: “It was a three-game set that we needed to reset.”

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–Field Level Media