Winnipeg Takes Bite Out of Sharks


WINNIPEG, MB. – Whatever the Winnipeg Jets had for breakfast this morning definitely worked.

Playing in a rare afternoon tilt, the Jets came out flying with three shots in the first 30 seconds and if it weren’t for two great saves by Martin Jones, including a point-blank right pad save off Patrik Laine, the Jets could have been leading after their first shift of the game.

The crowd was still buzzing when Matt Hendricks and Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon decided they would drop the gloves. It was a heated tilt with Hendricks landing quite a few good shots, much to the delight of the sold-out crowd at Bell MTS Place.

Winnipeg Takes Bite Out of Sharks

Midway through the opening period Hendricks would once again bring the fans to their feet with a great individual effort. Joel Armia banked a pass off the boards which found Hendricks at the Sharks blueline. Hendricks found space between the defenseman, broke in on goaltender Martin Jones, and lifted a backhand under the arm of the Sharks goalie, giving Winnipeg a 1-0 lead after one.

Marko Dano would double the Jets lead in the second period, redirecting a Jacob Trouba slapshot that dribbled through the legs of Jones. The goal was Dano’s second in his last four games since returning to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous 30 games.

Winnipeg would find themselves two men down midway through the second period with Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien both taking penalties. After killing off the 5-on-3, Sharks Logan Couture ripped a slapshot just under the bar with Byfuglien still serving his penalty, cutting the Jets lead to 2-1.

Mathieu Perreault scored his first of two on the night before the period would run out, sliding a shot under the pad of Jones from the top of the crease in the final minute to give the Jets a 3-1 lead going into the final frame.

Heading to the third, the Jets had to feel pretty comfortable. Coming into the game the Jets were 19-0-1 when leading after two. Both teams traded chances in the period, but couldn’t score until Perreault found the empty net with just over three-minutes left, giving the Jets the win and improving their record to 25-11-7 on the season.

Winnipeg Takes Bite Out of Sharks

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31-of-32 shots for his 23rd win of the season. Hellebuyck remains stellar on home ice, posting a record of 16-1-1 at Bell MTS Place and is 22-4-6 overall on the year.

Manitoba Moose leading scorer Jack Roslovic suited up for his first game of the season for the Jets, finishing with two shots in 7:57 ice time. Roslovic took Adam Lowry’s spot, who missed the game due to an upper-body injury.

With the win the Jets stay atop of the Central Division standing with 57 points, three points ahead of both the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.

Winnipeg now embarks on a three-game road trip beginning Tuesday night in Buffalo before a set of weekend games against Chicago (Friday) and Minnesota (Saturday).

Bill Burfoot, Manitoba Post

Photos by James Carey Lauder