Winnipeg Jets shut down Sens for second straight victory

It took four games, but the Winnipeg Jets finally managed to get a regulation lead this season. And they weren’t letting go.

The Jets finally got off to a strong start and they were rewarded with a second straight victory over the Ottawa Senators.

After falling behind in all of their previous three games, the Jets opened the scoring on Thursday, and dominated the Sens to the tune of a 4-1 victory at the Canadian Tire Centre in the nations capital.

The Jets were relentless in the second period with sustained pressure throughout the 20 minutes where they scored three different times. No question it was by far and away their best showing through the first four games.

“We felt that tonight we had an opportunity to have our best night going in just from a legs point of view,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “It’s early in the season, so the back-to-back kinda felt that, even in the morning skate that the rust had come off. So we moved as five guys very well. Lots of close puck support. Lots of quickness, but it was a well-managed game, really well played game by our team.”

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The Jets didn’t have a lead for a single second in all of their first three games of the season, with both their previous victories coming in overtime.

“Half of the Calgary game was really good. Half of the first game here was really good, tonight was a more complete performance.” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. “I think it’s a learning experience. You’re three games into a season. You played four games in a year. Trying to kinda figure it back out a little bit.

“We got off to a good start tonight. It was nice to get the first goal to play with the lead for a little bit tonight.”

Click to play video 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Blake Wheeler Interview – Jan. 21' RAW: Winnipeg Jets Blake Wheeler Interview – Jan. 21

RAW: Winnipeg Jets Blake Wheeler Interview – Jan. 21

Wheeler, Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, and Adam Lowry scored the goals for the Jets.

Chris Tierney replied for the Senators in the loss. The lone Sens goal came with just under three minutes left to spoil Connor Hellebuyck’s shutout bid.

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“It would have been nice to see a goose egg up there,” Hellebuyck said. “It makes me really angry, cause I played almost a perfect game, and the guy shoots one wide, and that’s what happens. So, I don’t really care how it goes in. I just don’t want it to go in.”

Hellebuyck finished the game with 28 saves for his 150th career win.

“It’s another one of those little proud moments,” Hellebuyck said. “I found out after the game. I kinda checked on where I was at games, and didn’t realize I was close to a milestone on wins, so it just says a lot about the guys in front of me, and about the team as a whole. We’ve been together and building in the right way, and getting a lot of wins along the way.”

Click to play video 'RAW: Winnipeg Jets Connor Hellebuyck Interview – Jan. 21' RAW: Winnipeg Jets Connor Hellebuyck Interview – Jan. 21

RAW: Winnipeg Jets Connor Hellebuyck Interview – Jan. 21

The Jets took four of a possible six points on the road trip and now have a 3-1 record for the campaign.

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It was the first game this season where Kyle Connor failed to find the back of the net. He was attempting to become the first Jets’ player in franchise history to score in all of their first four games of the season.

He still had two more assists to give him seven points in the first four games to lead the team. That’s just one point shy of Marc Savard’s franchise record for the most points in the first four games of the season.

READ MORE: Kelly Moore: Winnipeg Jets are OK and then some, one week into the season

Ehlers, who scored the OT winner for the Jets in Tuesday night’s win, picked up right where he left off, potting his second of the season 11:50 into the first period.

And then the Jets poured it on in the second period with Scheifele, Lowry, Wheeler all scoring in the middle frame.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets survive Senators onslaught, come back for 4-3 overtime win in Ottawa

Jets defenceman Ville Heinola made his season debut, replacing Sami Niku in the lineup, while Patrik Laine missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury.

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Jets forward Nate Thompson left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine ‘doubtful’ for rematch with Ottawa Senators

That marks the end of the Jets’ three-game road trip. The Jets next seven games are all at Bell MTS Place starting with their third straight meeting against the Sens on Saturday starting at 9:00 PM.

You can listen to the live coverage with Kelly Moore, Jamie Thomas, and Paul Edmonds on 680 CJOB.

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RAW: Winnipeg Jets Paul Maurice Interview – Jan. 21

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