October 5, 2018 / 3:26 AM / 16 days ago

Jets extend dominance of Blues with opening win

EditorsNote: Minor fixes

Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist Thursday, and the Winnipeg Jets opened their season in impressive fashion, recording a 5-1 road victory over the St. Louis Blues.

The result continued Winnipeg’s recent dominance over its Central Division rivals. The Jets are now 9-2-0 over their past 11 games against the Blues, including six wins in their past seven visits to St. Louis.

Three third-period Jets goals in less than a two-minute span blew open what had been a closely contested game.

Adam Lowry’s short-handed score opened the flurry at 5:51. Lowry took advantage of a sloppy back pass to fight the puck away from Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and score on a breakaway for a 2-0 Winnipeg lead.

That same Blues power play ended just over a minute later, with Connor emerging from the penalty box in perfect position to take a pass down the left side and then pass in front to Jets captain Wheeler for the goal.

Connor recorded a goal of his own at 7:35, tipping in a Jacob Trouba shot from the point.

The Blues couldn’t solve Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck until Vince Dunn finally ended the shutout at 14:10 of the third period. Dunn’s goal ended a streak of just under 120 minutes of scoreless hockey for the Blues against Hellebuyck dating to last season.

Hellebuyck saved 41 of 42 shots, falling just shy of his fourth shutout in seven career games against St. Louis.

The Blues had more than their share of opportunities, putting two shots off the post in the first period and outshooting Winnipeg by a 42-25 overall margin. St. Louis failed to score in four power-play chances, continuing a troubling trend from the 2017-18 season — the Blues tied for second to last among NHL teams last season in power-play goals.

Laine, however, did score on the Jets’ first power-play chance, giving Winnipeg the early lead 4:01 into the first period. Brandon Tanev added the Jets’ final goal at 11:04 of the third period, on a shot that initially wasn’t judged as over the line until a brief review.

—Field Level Media

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