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GLENDALE, Ariz. – Blake Wheeler scored twice in 15 seconds, Bryan Little also had two goals and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled the season opener at home for the newly named Arizona Coyotes with a 6-2 victory Thursday night.
Wheeler keyed a four-goal first period for the Jets, who were in control almost from the start as Arizona goalie Mike Smith struggled early.
Wheeler also added an assist, his pass to Dustin Byfuglien for a tap-in from right in front at 12:31 of the second period to give Winnipeg a four-goal lead.
Ondrej Pavelec made 21 saves.
The Jets, also playing their opener, put 16 shots on net in the first period to eight for the Coyotes. Little opened the scoring 7 minutes in on a 2-on-1 break, taking a pass from Andrew Ladd and shooting the puck past Smith.
The Coyotes, formerly the Phoenix Coyotes until rebranding in the offseason, tied the game less than a minute later when Mikkel Boedker took a pass from captain Shane Doan from behind the Winnipeg goal and slipped his shot past Pavelec.
Doan has 14 points in 19 career season openers.
Byfuglien had an assist in the first period, his 300th career point, before making the score 5-1 with his second-period goal.
Wheeler, who led the Jets with 69 points last season, including a career-high 28 goals, scored on a turnaround shot at 11:27 of the first. Just 15 seconds later, he deflected in a shot by teammate Zach Bogosian with Smith partially screened immediately after a faceoff in the Coyotes zone.
The Jets made it 4-1 with defenseman Mark Stuart's goal, which sneaked past Smith between the stick side and the near post. The goal was reviewed and allowed.
The frustrated Coyotes served 17 minutes on seven penalties in the first period, including 5 minutes for fighting for Doan, who went after Wheeler in an apparent attempt to fire up his teammates. Wheeler also got 5 minutes.
Little skated around the defense of Arizona's Keith Yandle, moving the puck from his backhand to his forehand for a goal less than 6 minutes into the third period, the last one of the night for the Jets.
Martin Hanzal scored at 11:35 of the third for Arizona, assisted by Zbynek Michalek and Doan.
Pavelec finished with 26 saves.
NOTES: Winnipeg's Evander Kane left in the first period after colliding with teammate Mark Scheifele in the middle of the ice. Kane didn't play in the second or third because of a lower-body injury. ... The Jets visit San Jose for their next game Saturday night, when the Coyotes host the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. ... Michael Buffer, widely known for his ring announcing at major boxing events and "Let's get ready to rumble!" catch phrase, introduced the Coyotes coaches and players during a pregame ceremony. ... The crowd of 17,125 at Gila River Arena was announced as a sellout.