EditorsNote: Adds detail on Perreault in Graf 4; clarifies Jets’ record vs. Vegas Graf 5; clarifies Pionk’s mark Graf 10; corrects Connor point streak Graf 11
Goalie Connor Hellebuyck worked his league-leading sixth shutout, Kyle Connor netted his team-high 36th tally in Winnipeg’s three-goal first period and the Jets earned a 4-0 home win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.
Hellebuyck stopped all 29 shots in his fourth straight start (3-1-0), authoring his 20th career shutout and moving to 17-11-3 at home.
Nikolaj Ehlers scored his 24th goal in the game’s first minute, and Patrik Laine notched his 27th and added an assist as the Jets built a 3-0 lead in the opening period of the second meeting between the teams.
Mathieu Perreault potted a goal in his return from a three-game absence because of injury, with Ehlers chipping in an assist for a two-point night for the Jets, who won for the third time in four games and are 10-5-2 since Feb. 1.
Winnipeg also claimed its fifth straight home win, improving to 8-2-1 in its last 11 on home ice. The Jets are 4-2-1 all time vs. the Golden Knights.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves for Vegas, which is still 9-2-0 in its last 11.
The Golden Knights were shut out to open a five-game road trip — their fourth time being blanked this season — and nine of their final 13 games will be played away from Las Vegas.
Ehlers started the scoring just 32 seconds into the contest by swooping around Fleury’s net and curling the puck around the post and into the vacated crease. Vegas winger Ryan Reaves — a Winnipeg native — inadvertently tipped in the puck off the retreating Fleury for a 1-0 lead.
On the game’s first power play, Laine grabbed a rebound of Neal Pionk’s point shot, secured the puck in the right circle and wristed in the second goal at 4:41.
The tally was Laine’s fifth career against Vegas — all on the power play — and Pionk’s assist, his 22nd on the man advantage, tied a franchise record for most power-play helpers in a season by a defenseman.
Connor finished off a two-on-one with Jack Roslovic at 18:10 for a 3-0 lead, extending the 23-year-old Connor’s career-high in markers and moving his goal streak to a career-best five games. The top-line right wing has produced eight points (six goals, two assists) in the streak.
Back after a 16-game injury absence, Perreault finished a pass from Josh Morrissey on the Jets’ second power play with six minutes left in the second period — giving the Jets a comfortable four-goal edge as they cruised to the win.
—Field Level Media