After six periods of regulation play where they only scored once, the Winnipeg Jets proved you can’t keep a good offence down for long.
The Jets (14-7-1) got on the scoreboard first – and goaltender Laurent Brossoit ensured his team stayed in control all night – leading to a 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks (9-15-2) in Tuesday’s rematch at Bell MTS Place.
It was a bounce back game for the Jets who had their four-game winning streak snapped the night before. The Jets still haven’t lost back-to-back games in regulation this season.
“We want to be that team that never lose two in a row,” forward Mathieu Perreault said. “You got to get pissed off every time you lose a game, and this is the kinda attitude we’ve had so far this year. And coming into this game, we knew what to expect, and we made sure that we bounced back from that.”
The Jets had a one-goal lead after the first period, but really took the game over in the middle stanza where they outshot Vancouver 15-9.
“I think our second period was as good as you can get,” said Brossoit. “Everyone was making the small, little passes, a lot of support. I didn’t really have a lot to do.
“For us to play the way we did, I think that’s a sign of a really good, elite team, getting pucks in deep, wasting a lot of time in the offensive zone, not sitting back. Those are all those little things that takes a lot of veteran leadership to lead us.”
The victory moved the Jets into second place in the NHL’s North Division, one point up on the Edmonton Oilers.
Three different Jets’ players had three-point nights. Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each chipped in with a goal and two assists, while Mark Scheifele recorded three helpers.
After a couple of dud performances offensively, Jets head coach Paul Maurice made a switch on his top two lines. Paul Stastny moved out to the wing with Scheifele and Wheeler where he finished Monday’s game. While Pierre-Luc Dubois played his first full game at his natural position at centre between Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers. And even though Dubois didn’t find the scoresheet on Tuesday, Maurice still felt they took a giant leap forwards.
“I still felt we were slow offensively and then tonight I thought we were fast offensively,” said Maurice. “So it looked different. We hit a bunch of posts. We had chaos created around the net that we were covered, and then it sped our game up.
“I think a big chunk of the quality of our defensive game kinda comes off that. Our gap is right from the offensive mindset. I don’t think it was where the other team fell off, or we were just snapping it around, they were having a tough period. I thought we drove the period.”
Jets forward Mason Appleton reached a new career high with his sixth goal of the season in just his 22nd game.
“The last couple games – didn’t love,” Appleton said. “But tonight kinda got back to what I do best, and what we do best as a line. We had a lot of sustained offensive zone time. We scored a big goal, so yeah, game felt good.”
Appleton opened the scoring on a drive to the blue paint – banging home a rebound kicked out by Canucks goaltender Braden Holtby.
The tally also stopped the Jets’ season-long scoreless streak at 65:19, but the 1-0 lead was short lived.
The Canucks’ puck luck – partially to credit for three deflected first-period goals on Monday – was still alive in this game.
That was made apparent when Elias Pettersson tied the game 8:34 into the first frame – his wrist shot hitting the crossbar, then Brossoit’s backside before crossing the goal line.
Just as the teams looked prepared to skate off the ice tied at one – Perreault jumped on a Canucks turnover at their own blue line, beating Holtby with 2.6 seconds left in the period for his fourth goal of the year.
The second period started with the same energy the first period finished with.
After Appleton drew a penalty with a similar drive to the net that earned the game’s first goal, Connor buried a slick pass from Wheeler to extend the hosts’ lead at 5:04.
The visitors earned their retribution for Perreault’s goal with a late tally of their own – J.T. Miller finding the net with less than five seconds left until the second intermission.
The Jets ended the first two periods up 3-2 in goals, but had already equaled Monday’s shot total with 27.
Stastny restored the Jets’ two-goal advantage halfway through the third period, beating Holtby after a flurry of chances at the top of the crease.
After Brossoit made a couple of big saves, Wheeler finished the game with an empty-netter.
The captain has now put a stretch of three points in eight games behind him with a trio of three-point nights in the Jets’ last five contests.
Brossoit picked up where he left off against the team from his home province – stopping 30 of 32 shots.
The Jets backup now owns a career .971 save percentage against the Canucks in five appearances.
At the other end, Holtby finished with 34 saves on 38 shots for a .895 clip.
After exiting Winnipeg’s win against Vancouver Feb. 21 with an upper-body injury and missing the next three games, defenceman Tucker Poolman logged 17:36 of ice time and a plus-1 rating.
With the win, the Jets finished up a four-game homestand with six of a possible eight points. The club will now play 14 games in 27 nights with 12 of them on the road.
That stretch begins Thursday night in Montreal when they face the Canadiens.
The pre-game show begins with Kelly Moore at 4 p.m. on 680 CJOB – Paul Edmonds and Jamie Thomas have the call of the game at 6 p.m.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
View original article here Source