It may not have been a six-goal rout, but the streaking Jets got the job done with a 3-0 road victory from the Honda Center in Anaheim Wednesday.
Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers found goals for Winnipeg, Jacob Trouba put together another multi-point game, and his seventh point in eight games, Paul Maurice tied Dick Irvin for seventh place in all-time NHL coaching victories, and Connor Hellebuyck collected his first shutout of the season.
It took the Jets nearly 16 minutes to find the game’s first goal, but Mark Scheifele opened the scoring on the power play with a rebound off a bank shot off the end boards by defenceman Jacob Trouba. Both Trouba’s assist (35) and Scheifele’s goal (35) were career highs.
Although the Western Conference teams combined for 21 shots in the middle stanza, no goals were scored after Scheifele’s marker until the four minute mark of the third period. Kyle Connor picked up his 29th goal and second point of the game shortly into the final frame, before Nik Ehlers banked a squeaker past John Gibson a few minutes later, sealing the deal for the Canadian visitors.
Anaheim ended up outshooting Winnipeg 29-23 Wednesday, however, it was Connor Hellebuyck who put up the better performance between the pipes, stopping all the pucks he faced for his first shutout of the season, and 13th of his career. Gibson turned aside 20 of 23 shots in the loss.
Joe Morrow drew back into the Jets’ lineup for the first time since suffering an injury on February 14th. He collected an assist in nearly 13 minutes of icetime, while fighting Corey Perry. Both Nathan Beaulieu and Matt Hendricks did not dress as Morrow and Jack Roslovic found their places back in the Jets’ lineup Wednesday.
With his 692nd career NHL victory, Winnipeg Head Coach Paul Maurice has tied the great Dick Irvin for seventh place on the all-time ‘wins list’. Maurice now only trails Scotty Bowman, Joel Quenneville, Ken Hitchcock, Barry Trotz, Al Arbour and Lindy Ruff.
Irvin, who spent six seasons playing for the Winnipeg Monarchs from 1911-1916 went on to skate for three years in the NHL, before spending 27 years coaching the Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, qualifying for the playoffs 24 times, and capturing the Stanley Cup on four occasions.
The Jets will now take their four-game winning streak to Vegas for the final showdown of the regular season with Winnipegger Mark Stone and the red-hot Golden Knights. The 9:00 PM central matchup will be available to view on TSN3.