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Jets Close Out Home Portion of Schedule with Impressive 6-2 Win over Sharks

Photos by Scott Stroh and James Carey Lauder

Jets Close Out Home Portion of Schedule with Impressive 6-2 Win over Sharks

It was Fan Appreciation Night at Canada Life Centre on Monday and the Winnipeg Jets gave the 13,428 in attendance exactly what they wanted.

Thanks to goals by Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kyle Connor, Adam Lowry, Mason Appleton, Josh Morrissey and Mark Scheifele and another workmanlike effort by goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, the Jets beat the visiting San Jose Sharks 6-2 and solidified their hold on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

“Brilliant homestand, Appleton said post-game. “We scored a lot of goals. We felt good about our offence.”

“Tonight, we come in and we do a good job again for basically all three periods. The power play is clicking. Obviously, the PK wanted one of those back. I feel we’re a pretty good hockey team right now. We like our chances. We’re feeling good about ourselves.”

With the win, the Jets improved to 45-32-3 on the season and were three points ahead of Calgary in the race for the second Wild Card in the Western Conference, although Calgary was about to play host to Nashville in the later game on Monday night.

Clear Lake/Brandon’s Tristen Robins made his NHL debut with the Sharks (Photo by Scott Stroh)

Back in Winnipeg, however, it was time to party and on a night when Clear Lake/Brandon, Manitoba’s Tristen Robins made his NHL debut for San Jose, the Sharks came out quickly. San Jose opened the scoring at the 20 second mark of the first period when Erik Karlsson, the lock for the Norris Trophy, scored his 24th of the season. However, the Jets bounced right back and took total control of the hockey game.

Dubois scored his 27th of the season at 1:11 from Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers on a power play to tie the game and then Lowry (from Nino Neiderreiter and Nate Schmidt) made it 2-1 at 7:14 and Connor (from Dylan DeMelo and Morrissey) made it 3-1 at 14:26.

“Yeah, huge goal by the power play,” Morrissey said. “Obviously, a nice play there and a great finish by Dubie. That’s what the power play can do for you, and we needed it to step up there and after that I felt like we took over the game.”

The Jets outshot San Jose 14-5 in the first 20 minutes and were obviously going to put a stop to the Sharks 2-0 ownership of the season series.

There was no scoring in the second period and then the Jets blew it open in the third, although not before Karlsson made some history.

Likely Norris Trophy winner and 100-point D-man Erik Karlsson by Scott Stroh

San Jose made it 4-2 at the 3:42 mark of the final period on the power play when Karlsson scored his second of the night, 25th of the season and 100th point of the season, becoming only the sixth defenceman in NHL history to record 100 points in a single campaign. He joined Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis, Phil Housley and Brian Leach in the 100-point club.

However, Josh Morrissey made it 5-2 at 5:48 with his 16th of the season from Dylan DeMelo and Appleton and then Mark Scheifele scored his 41st from Morrissey and Connor at 7:35 to round out the scoring.

First star Josh Morrissey by James Carey Lauder

The three stars were Karlsson, Lowry and Morrissey. Impossible to argue with those choices, but also interesting that Morrissey was first star in a game that guaranteed Karlsson will win the Norris Trophy. You have to love that.

The Jets outshot the Sharks 33-21 and won 52 per cent of the face-offs. The man with the best stats line for Winnipeg was Morrissey. He had a goal, two assists and was plus-three with three shots, a hit, a blocked shot, no giveaways and two takeaways in 23 minutes and seven seconds of ice time.

“Right now we’re feeling good about ourselves,” coach Bowness said. “Again, it goes back to the balanced scoring that we’re going to get. The D scored again tonight, which is huge for our team. But again, tomorrow night is going to be a different animal than playing San Jose tonight. They’re going to be a lot tougher opponent.”

The Jets, who just went 4-1-0 in their final homestand of the season, will have little time to celebrate this win. They’ll face the high-flying Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. and it’s another must-win for Winnipeg.

Covered his first junior hockey game for the Sarnia Observer in 1968. Covered his first Jets game for the Winnipeg Free Press in 1980. Still thinks hockey is the bees knees.


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