WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)Mark Scheifele had three goals and the Winnipeg Jets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
”You’ve just got to grind through it, that’s the name of the game,” said Scheifele, who played through an undisclosed illness and recorded his second hat trick of the season and the seventh of his career. ”Just battle through it, try to get through the game, and then try to rest as much as you can. I try to do as much as I can to make sure my body’s primed for every game.”
Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored for Winnipeg. Kyle Connor and Josh Morrissey each had two assists.
”It was a big win,” Scheifele said. ”Guys battled right to the end.”
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 20 of 22 shots for Winnipeg (22-13-1). The Jets are 13-6-0 at Canada Life Centre.
”A night like tonight, (Scheifele’s) looking at me like he wants to be out there,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. ”He’s feeling it and he looked at me a couple of times, and I said `OK, you go.’ When a player is feeling it, you let them go.”
Conor Garland and Andrei Kuzmenko scored for the Canucks, who had their three-game win streak halted. Collin Delia made 35 saves for Vancouver (16-16-3).
Garland pulled the Canucks within one 13:11 into the third period. He grabbed a rebound off the boards behind the net and banked a shot in off Hellebuyck.
But Scheifele put the game away with an empty-netter with 28 seconds remaining in the game.
The Jets took a 3-1 lead into the third period after scoring three unanswered goals and outshooting Vancouver 19-6 in the second.
”We started strong and probably caught them a little off guard there,” said Vancouver center Curtis Lazar. ”But as the game got going, they elevated and we didn’t. We weren’t able to match it.
”As you could see throughout the game, it just wasn’t there. Again, it’s a good hockey club. They work hard. It’s the fundamentals. We have got to bear down and find ways to alter the pace and momentum of the game.”
Scheifele scored his second power-play goal of the game when his shot trickled through Delia with 2.5 seconds left in the period.
Dubois put the Jets ahead when he was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down by Canucks defenseman Ethan Bear. Dubois beat Delia cleanly at 15:42.
With Lane Pederson off for tripping, Scheifele deflected Morrissey’s slap shot from the blue line past Delia on the power play at 13:52 of the second.
”We started to focus a little too much on defense and not on offense at all,” Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said. ”The last five minutes (of the second period), they started to gain some momentum and they’re a good shutdown team, and they’ve got a good goalie.”
The Canucks opened the scoring just 41 seconds into game, taking advantage of a horrendous giveaway by Dylan Samberg in his own end. The Jets defenseman sent the puck to Elias Pettersson, who passed to Kuzmenko. The left-winger promptly fired one a shot Hellebuyck for his 15th of the season.
Winnipeg did not register its first shot on goal until the 9:39 mark of the opening period.
NOTES: Morrissey left the game after a hit from Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers in the third period. He did not return. … Winnipeg forward Sam Gagner celebrated his 1,000th NHL game. He wore the number 1000 on his jersey during the warmup . The injury-riddled Jets called up forward Kristian Reichel from their Manitoba Moose AHL affiliate, but he did not dress.
Vancouver: At Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Winnipeg: At Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
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