The game began much differently than the style of hockey the Jets have come to play as of recent memory. Jumping out to a ridiculous shot lead through the game’s opening minutes helped keep the home team’s fans relatively quiet, while pushing the Canucks’ offence out of the picture.
Bryan Little got things going for Winnipeg just one minute in, as ‘Nucks’ netminder Jacob Markstrom made a horrible read and played a loose puck right to the stick of Little, who in turn, blasted his fourth of the year into the wide open net. Vancouver’s rookie sensation Elias Pettersson got the home team back in the game with his 12 goal on a mid-period power play, but it was all Jets after that.
Mark Scheifele collected his team-leading 11th goal as he buried a Nikolaj Ehlers slapshot rebound past Markstrom with six minutes to go in the opening frame. Not to be outdone, sophomore Kyle Connor buried his 10th of the season on the power play on a nice setup from Scheifele just 39 seconds later.
Winnipeg outshot Vancouver heavily in the first 20 minutes, finishing the period up 23-7 in the shot department, and 3-1 on the scoreboard. After an even strength goal by Patrik Laine, the Jets cooled off in the second period, allowing Vancouver back into the game following a fight between Antoine Roussel and Brandon Tanev. Clearly Roussel’s antics sparked his team, who put back-to-back pucks past Connor Hellebuyck.
Just a minute and a half into Roussel’s instigator penalty, Tyler Motte collected a shorthanded goal on a quality blocked shot while on the penalty kill. Nikolay Goldobin then tucked a puck past the Jets’ netminder on an excellent solo effort while cutting hard to the Winnipeg net.
The third period provided Winnipeg with an insurance goal from Laine, who put up his 10th of the season on a terrific break up ice. The play began with Laine and Connor helping out in the defensive zone, before turning up ice, where Little found Laine driving to the net, and slipped him the puck to see the Finn hammer it into the open cage. Laine then added an empty net marker with two minutes left in the game, for his sixth career hat trick, and second of the shortened 2018-19 season.
Winnipeg improved its record to 12-5-2, while outshooting Vancouver 49-25. Hellebuyck stopped 22 pucks, while Markstrom gave up five goals on 48 Jets shots. The Jets now travel to Calgary for another 9:00 P.M. showdown with a western Canada rival. Wednesday’s contest against the Flames can be seen live on Sportsnet. The Jets then play in Minnesota at 3:00 P.M. on Friday, before going up against the St. Louis Blues at 6:00 P.M. on Saturday.