WINNIPEG, MB – Say hello to the first-place Winnipeg Jets, folks. The Vegas Golden Knights made their first trip to Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place on Friday, but struggled to put much together against the now league-leading 16-6-4 Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets dominated the first period of play, but came out on the bottom after 20 minutes. An early hooking penalty to Vegas’ Cody Eakin – a Winnipeg native – gave the Jets a power play that Tyler Myers used to pick up his fourth goal of the season – a one-time blast from a Nikolaj Ehlers feed, helping Winnipeg out to a 1-0 lead in the early going.
The Winnipeg connection on the Golden Knights provided Vegas’ first goal in Manitoba, as Eakin batted his fourth of the campaign out of the air in tight, off of a Brendan Leipsic shot. Both Winnipeggers, Leipsic and Eakin were selected by Vegas in this June’s NHL Expansion Draft.
Vegas forward William Karlsson redirected his 14th of the season past Jets’ Connor Hellebuyck in the late stages of the first period, providing the Golden Knights with a 2-1 lead after one period of play.
Following an opening period that saw the Jets trailing Vegas by three shots, the boys in blue turned it on in the second period, putting up 15 shots – including the game-tying goal off the stick of Matt Hendricks.
The Golden Knights thought they had themselves a two-goal lead on a Colin Miller power play slap shot, but Jets’ Head Coach Paul Maurice successfully challenged offside on a potential 3-1 marker and had the goal overturned. That challenge sparked Winnipeg as Hendricks picked up a Mathieu Perreault drop pass minutes later and beat Legace with a quick wrist shot far side, knotting the game up at twos.
With two goals in the first three minutes of the third, and another before the seventh minutes had ticked off the clock, the Jets buried the Golden Knights in Winnipeg snow in the final frame. Although Vegas found the twine twice in the third, , goals from Ehlers, Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Kyle Conner (2) did the visitors in, as Connor Hellebuyck improved his stellar record to 14-2-3 on the season in Winnipeg’s 7-4 victory Friday.
With the win, the Jets improved their record to 16-6-4, good for their share of first-place in the league. Winnipeg will have a day off on Saturday before preparing to host their Canadian rival Ottawa Senators on Sunday. The action begins at 6:00 P.M. local time from Bell MTS Place, and can be seen live on Sportsnet.
- The Manitoba Post