WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets grabbed a season-high fourth straight win by beating the New Jersey Devils 5-2 at Bell MTS Place on Saturday.
Both teams entered the game tied for fourth place in the NHL with identical records. With the win, the Jets have now picked up points in 15 of their last 17 games.
The Jets opened the scoring in the second period thanks to Kyle Connor’s fifth goal of the season. The rookie fired a Blake Wheeler rebound past former Manitoba Moose goalie Cory Schneider 5:51 into the frame. Wheeler now has 20 assists, the second most in the league.
Brian Gibbons replied for the Devils with his team-leading ninth goal before Winnipeg scored three times in a span of 95 seconds. Patrik Laine put the Jets back in front by tipping in an Nikolaj Ehlers shot. Jacob Trouba then beat Schneider glove for his first of the season. Mathieu Perreault set up Matt Hendricks for a one-timer mid-way through the frame to make it 4-1 for Winnipeg.
Perreault later deflected a centering pass from Hendricks during the final two minutes of the second to tie a franchise record for most goals in a single period with five.
Will Butcher poked in a loose puck in the third period to bring the Devils within three. The goal marked the first of his NHL career.
New Jersey outshot the Jets 13-11 in a scoreless first period. At one point, Winnipeg had six less shots on goal than the Devils.
Jets defenceman Toby Enstrom left the game after suffering an apparent leg injury during the second period. He was hurt when his skate got tangled with those of Jesper Bratt near Winnipeg’s net. Enstrom didn’t put any weight on his right leg while being helped off the ice. He returned a few minutes later to play two more shifts but eventually called it a day.
Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves during his third straight start in net for the Jets. Across the ice, Schneider stopped 17 of the 22 shots he faced before being replaced by Keith Kinkaid at the start of the third.
Winnipeg opens a four-game roadtrip against the Nasvhille Predators on Monday. The Jets play eight of their next 11 games away from Bell MTS Place.