As the stage gets bigger in the NHL playoffs, so do the hits.
Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk nailed Edmonton Oilers forward Joakim Nygard in a play near center ice in the first period Thursday night of their exhibition matchup.
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Pionk appeared to hit Nygard with his right shoulder and sent the Swedish forward airborne. He was not penalized for the hit.
Pionk contributed one assist in more than 21 minutes on the ice.
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The Oilers went on to win, 5-3. Edmonton received two goals each from Tomas Jurco and Ethan Bear while getting another one from Connor McDavid.
Winnipeg got goals from Gabriel Bourque, C.J. Suess and Tucker Poolman.
The Jets have their final preseason matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. They start the 2019-20 season Thursday on the road against the New York Rangers.
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Edmonton has their final preseason game against the Calgary Flames. They begin their regular season Wednesday at home against the Vancouver Canucks.