Jets dominate Stalock, Wild
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—The Winnipeg Jets shook off any hangover they had from being shut out for the first time this season, routing goalie Alex Stalock and the Minnesota Wild 7-2 on Monday night.
The Jets scored seven consecutive goals, with Bryan Little, Joel Armia, Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele, Mathieu Perreault, Blake Wheeler and Jacob Trouba connecting after Jason Zucker and Chris Stewart staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 17 shots for his 13th win of the season while Stalock blocked 21 shots in the loss.
The Jets lost 4-0 to San Jose on Saturday to finish off a four-game road trip.
The Wild opened the scoring after stripping the puck from Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who had jumped into the play, at their own blue line. The ensuing three-on-one rush enabled center Charlie Coyle to find left winger Zucker all alone and his deke had Hellebuyck sprawling on his stomach, allowing him to easily lift a backhand into the net at the eight-minute mark of the first period. It was his 13th goal.
The Wild made it 2-0 when center Matt Cullen appeared to trip Patrik Laine behind the Jets net as the right winger was getting to his feet, Cullen picked up a loose puck and found Stewart in the high slot. He ripped a wrist shot high over Hellebuyck's blocker at 13:54 for his seventh of the season.
As it has several other times this season, Winnipeg's fourth line responded. Center Matt Hendricks tipped a shot from the point by defenseman Josh Morrissey that was stopped by Stalock but Armia was there to deposit the rebound at 15:47.
The Jets got a chance to even things up when Wild defenseman Kyle Quincey was sent off for cross-checking at 16:40 of the first and they wasted little time in capitalizing. While the home team passed the puck around the periphery, three Wild defenders were within an arm's length of Laine in the slot. That left center Scheifele alone to Stalock's right and captain Wheeler found him for a one-timer at 17:15. It was his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
The Jets took the lead in the second period thanks to a nifty pass from center Andrew Copp to a streaking Scheifele, which created a two-on-one. Wild defenseman Gustav Olofsson went to cover the Jets' leading scorer, who flipped a backhand pass to Trouba for a ripped wrist shot past Staylock at 10:57.
Minutes later, Armia stole the puck on the forecheck and after some cycling with Hendricks, the Finn found left winger Perreault alone to Staylock's left. He rifled home his sixth of the season on a one-timer at 14:19.
The Jets clinched it early in the third when Wheeler streaked down the left wing and cut to the net, losing his footing and leaving a pair of defensemen and the goalie strewn about like bowling pins. That allowed left winger Kyle Connor to swoop in and wrist his seventh of the season into the net to make it 5-2 at 5:13
NOTES: The Jets recalled G Eric Comrie from the Manitoba Moose and placed G Steve Mason on the injured reserve list after he suffered a concussion after taking a slapshot to the mask on Saturday in a 4-0 loss to San Jose. ... The Wild lead the NHL with five short-handed goals in 24 games this season. ... The North Stars went 26-20-3 versus the Winnipeg Jets from 1979-1993. ... The Jets' last loss in regulation was more than a month ago against Columbus on Oct. 17. ... Jets RW Blake Wheeler played in his 500th game with the Jets/Thrashers franchise tonight.