Jets Hang On, Snap Losing Streak with win over Pittsburgh
The Winnipeg Jets have found their way back into the win column with a narrow 2-1 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.
Scoring both goals in the opening frame, the Jets pulled ahead early and held off a veteran Penguins attack, while relying on strong netminding from backstop Connor Hellebuyck, whose 35-save performance gave him 24 wins on the year, while earning him first star honours.
The Jets got goals from Mark Scheifele and Nino Niederreiter, who both hadn't found the scoresheet in some time.
Scheifele's goal came off a pretty pass by Nikolaj Ehlers, who dished the puck to Scheifele cross-ice on a three-on-one. He blasted a one-timer past a sprawling Tristan Jarry, giving the Jets a 1-0 lead.
Niederreiter made it 2-0 as he jammed home a rebound off a Nate Schmidt shot, scoring his first goal in 16 games in the process.
Pittsburgh got one back in the middle frame, as Bryan Rust redirected an Erik Karlsson point shot, but that was all the Penguins could muster on the evening, falling to Hellebuyck and the Jets 2-1.
The win was Winnipeg's first in six games. The Jets are back at it from home against the league's 31st-ranked San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
The extended photo library from Saturday's game vs. Pittsburgh is courtesy of Scott Stroh and James Carey Lauder:
Nino Niederreiter on the goaltending battle between Connor Hellebuyck and Tristan Jarry:
“They are two great goaltenders, and obviously Bucky stood on his head. He helped us win that game big time in the second period. They had a big push and we just let them play, but then we took back over in the third.”
Nikolaj Ehlers on Connor Hellebuyck's play:
"I’ve said this a million times now. We’ve got two pretty good goalies, and they’re top class. We’re pretty fortunate with that”
The Winnipeg Jets remain at home for a Wednesday night affair with the San Jose Sharks, before hitting the road for two games against western Canadian rivals Vancouver and Calgary. After that is a five-game stretch against Central Division opponents both at home and on the road. Wednesday's game can be viewed live on Sportsnet at 6:30 PM central time.