Surging Connor leads Jets to key win over reeling Golden Knights
WINNIPEG — Kyle Connor extended his goal-scoring streak to five games as the Winnipeg Jets downed the Vegas Golden Knights 7-3 on Tuesday, and put the visitors on a season-high five-game losing skid.
Connor added a pair of assists to go with his 38th goal of the season. Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Logan Stanley and Josh Morrissey each had a goal and an assist. Nikolaj Ehlers and Adam Lowry also scored.
Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for Winnipeg (28-23-10), which is 6-2-1 in its last nine games.
The Jets entered the game four points behind Vegas for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, with the Golden Knights holding a game in hand on Winnipeg.
Nicolas Roy, Alex Pietrangelo and Michael Amadio scored for Vegas (32-26-4), which ended a five-game road trip without any points.
Former Jets goalie Laurent Brossoit started in net for Vegas in place of injured Robyn Lehner. Brossoit was replaced by Logan Thompson midway through the second period after letting in four goals on 13 shots. Thompson stopped seven of the 10 shots he faced.
Winnipeg led 2-0 after the first period and 5-1 following the second.
The Jets got off to a really slow start and then switched gears with goals by Wheeler and Connor in the opening period.
Winnipeg didn’t get a shot on goal until 12:26 of the first. Defenceman Dylan DeMelo’s shot was gloved by Brossoit and drew cheers from some in the crowd. Vegas had six shots on net at the time.
Winnipeg then peppered Brossoit with six straight shots in the next three minutes, while Hellebuyck had no work on the other end of the ice.
Wheeler took his team’s eighth shot of the game and put the puck high over Brossoit’s glove side for his ninth goal of the season at 18:08, which extended his point streak to five games with two goals and five assists.
Just 33 seconds later, Connor recorded his 38 goal when his low shot went into the Vegas net at 18:41.
Winnipeg had a 9-7 lead on shots when the period ended.
Wheeler said during a TV interview at intermission that the jeering “Bronx” cheers ticked off the players.
Vegas got on the board at 6:49 of the second period after Roy capitalized on a quick passing play.
A pair of unassisted goals upped Winnipeg’s lead to 4-1. Ehlers scored his 16 at 9:04, and big defenceman Stanley recorded his first of the season at 11:09 when his sharp-angled shot whizzed behind Brossoit, who was then pulled in favour of Thompson.
Thompson stood tall during the game’s first power play, but eight seconds after it was over Scheifele notched his 23 goal at 18:25 to make it 5-1.
Vegas had the 19-16 edge on shots on goal after the second period.
Pietrangelo used his team’s first power play of the game to beat Hellebuyck at 4:34 of the third, and Amadio squeezed the score 5-3 five minutes later.
Winnipeg responded with Morrissey’s goal at 10:33. Lowry scored shorthanded three minutes later.
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