Perfetti, Hellebuyck shine as Winnipeg Jets pound Columbus 5-0 for 7th straight win

The Winnipeg Jets cannot be stopped.

The number one team in the NHL standings ensured they would stay there Tuesday night with a lopsided 5-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets that extends their win streak to seven games, matching a franchise record that was set in 2017.

It also extends their point streak to 13 games and marks the 30th consecutive game in which they’ve allowed three or fewer goals.

Cole Perfetti scored for the third straight game and had his third career three-point night with two goals and one assist to lead the way, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 29 shots for his second shutout of the season and the 34th of his career.

“We didn’t have the greatest energy tonight,” said Jets head coach Rick Bowness. “But we found a way to persevere and keep playing Winnipeg Jet hockey, but they made it hard on us. They’ve got some good young talent over there.”

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Mark Scheifele recorded his 400th career assist in the first period but had to leave the game in the third after taking some friendly fire. He was hit in the ear by a deflected puck off a Josh Morrissey slap shot. He was clearly in a ton of pain and bleeding from his right ear as he rushed to the dressing room. But Scheifele emerged from the room for the post-game celebration.

“I know he had some stitches on his ear,” Bowness said. “I just went to look for him there. I couldn’t find him so I don’t have an exact update. But he came back on the bench and he was in the locker room with us after the game.”

Dylan Samberg had one assist to extend his point streak to a career-best three games.

The Jets have still not lost in regulation to an Eastern Conference opponent all season, now 11-0-3 versus the east.

The home side wasted little time getting on the board, opening the scoring just 3:12 into the game.

After a turnover in the Winnipeg end, Scheifele got the puck to Nikolaj Ehlers as four Jets skated up the ice. Ehlers drew multiple defenders his way in the Columbus zone before sliding it across to Brenden Dillon, who tried to hit Scheifele with a back-door pass but it deflected off the stick of Erik Gudbranson and past Daniil Tarasov.

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Columbus tried to answer back, outshooting the Jets 9-6 on the whole in the first 20 minutes but Winnipeg carried the 1-0 lead into the second period.

Just past the midway point of the second, the Jets doubled their lead as two of their youngest players  connected.

After a long shift in the Columbus end, Dylan Samberg skated the puck down below the goal line and as he circled below the net, two Blue Jackets defenders went towards him, freeing up Perfetti in front. Samberg slid a short pass to Perfetti, who buried it to make it 2-0 at the 10:50 mark.

The Jets kept pouring it on as they made it 3-0 a few minutes later. Adam Lowry carried the puck into the Columbus zone, waited, then sent the puck to Morrissey who skated into it and ripped a perfect shot top-shelf past Tarasov at the 14:03 mark.

Winnipeg carried that lead into the third despite being outshot 16-14 through 40 minutes, and they added to their lead early in the period when Perfetti got to a loose puck and roofed it at the 3:34 mark, the first time Perfetti has had a multi-goal game at the NHL level.

The Jets made it 5-0 on the power play at the 9:29 mark when Gabriel Vilardi put home a rebound from point-blank range. Perfetti earned an assist on the play for his third point of the night.

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As the seconds ticked off the clock and fans did the wave, all that was left to determine was whether Hellebuyck could earn the shutout and he made some late saves to ensure the goose egg.

Winnipeg will look to set a franchise record with an eighth straight win when they host the Connor Bedard-less Chicago Blackhawks Thursday night. The action gets going just after 7 p.m. with pregame coverage on 680 CJOB starting at 5 p.m.

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