Winnipeg, MB. - It was one of the great bounce-back performances of the season for the Winnipeg Jets.
After falling 5-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Thursday night and then losing 2-0 in St. Louis on Saturday, the Jets played an almost perfect hockey game on Sunday evening, whipping the Blues 4-0.
Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves to get the shutout, his second of the season. He was strong all evening, but it was the Jets forechecking that made the difference. Still, in his last three games against St. Louis, Hellebuyck has allowed only one goal.
After coming off two straight losses, the Jets got goals from Adam Lowry and Patrik Laine in the second period and Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey in the third as they improved to 19-10-5 on the season. They are now just three points back of first-place Nashville and St. Louis in the Central and four points ahead of Chicago, the first Wild Card team in the West. The Jets are now 12-3-1 at Bell MTS Place this season.
Meanwhile, the Blues, now 22-11-2, are tied for first in the West (and Central) with Nashville.
On Sunday night, the Jets were in total control from the outset. They outshot the Blues 46-24 and completely outplayed them from start to finish. Lowry’s opening goal was a tribute to the Jets determination as linemate Brandon Tanev took a huge hit to get the puck to Andrew Copp, who set up Lowry with the eventual winning goal.
Rookie Tucker Poolman had a career-high four shots on goal. Defenseman Jacob Trouba and Copp each dished out two assists. Captain Blake Wheeler dished out his team-leading 31st assist of the season. He’s now tied for second in assists in the NHL. Laine scored his 16th goal of the season, that’s tops on the Jets.
The Jets will now head out on the road for three games, starting with a huge game against the high-flying Predators in Nashville on Tuesday night.
Scott Taylor for the Manitoba Post
Photo by James Carey Lauder