The Jets looked a little sluggish off the get-go in Winnipeg Sunday evening, surrendering the first few scoring chances of the evening to the visiting New Jersey Devils. However, the home team rebounded nicely in scoring the game’s first two goals.
The first came just three minutes in as Dustin Byfuglien set up a quality scoring chance with a drive to the net. He later prevented the Devils from clearing the puck with a nicely timed pinch. Jack Roslovic collected the loose puck along the boards, and cut in untouched to the slot and fired his first goal of the season short side past former Manitoba Moose netminder Cory Schneider.
Mark Scheifele added a second goal for the Jets just half a minute later. Schneider made a poor decision handling the puck – which ended up on Blake Wheeler’s stick – that ultimately ended up in Scheifele finding his eighth goal of the season on an easy one timer from the low slot.
New Jersey made it 2-1 on Brett Seney’s first career NHL goal. Second year forward Jesper Bratt found Seney alone all in front of Hellebuyck, who made no mistake cutting the Jets’ lead to one goal. Winnipeg dominated every first period category other than shots, (hits, faceoffs, blocked shots) trailing 13-11 through 20 minutes of play.
Scheifele scored his easiest goal of the season in the second period, as a Jacob Trouba point shot deflected right to the young centreman’s stick at the side of the New Jersey crease for an easy tap in three minutes into the second period.
The Devils responded rather quickly as Blake Coleman potted his fifth of the campaign on a rush up ice 45 seconds after the Scheifele marker. Then with an extra attacker out on the ice during an upcoming delayed New Jersey penalty, Nik Ehlers fired a wrist shot past Schneider to give the Jets a two goal lead. Kyle Connor later found Mathieu Perreault, who one-timed a slapshot five-hole, giving Winnipeg its final goal of the game, making it 5-2 through 40 minutes.
Nothing of relevance occurred in the third period, and the Jets hung on to win the game by three goals, continuing their four-game homestand with their second win in as many games. New Jersey’s loss was their third-straight. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 34 saves on 36 shots, while Cory Schneider was lit up five times for 23 saves on 28 shots by Winnipeg.
The Jets continue their homestand with a visit from defending Stanley Cup champions Madison Bowey and the Washington Capitals Wednesday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:10 P.M. and the game can be seen live on Sportsnet.