Patrik Laine with hat trick in homecoming as Winnipeg Jets beat Florida Panthers in Finland
Patrik Laine showed just who the daddy was in the first game of the Global Series in Finland.
Laine scored three goals as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Thursday in Helsinki, Finland.
After being held goalless in his last five games, the Finnish phenom broke out of his slump in his homecoming as he scored a pair of powerplay goals and an empty netter in the victory.
“I don’t think you guys can even imagine how good that feels,” Laine told reporters.
“It might be different if I would have played really well the first games we played, but I’ve been a pretty bad player. And now getting rewarded like that is pretty awesome.”
Earlier this week a Finnish reporter asked Jets head coach Paul Maurice if he expected Laine to show Panthers forward and fellow Finn Aleksander Barkov who’s “the daddy here in Finland”. Barkov had one assist in a losing cause for the Panthers.
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It was the fifth hat trick of Laine’s young career but his first multi-goal game since March.
“His game wasn’t where he needs it to be,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “Tonight was a good example of what we see from Patty so often, cause he scored three, but I think he could have had seven. Their guy made a couple of great saves on him and he missed a couple that he’d like. So that’s the Patty Laine that we get to enjoy in Winnipeg almost nightly.”
He becomes just the second player to get a hat trick in a regular season game outside of North America after Theo Fleury scored three goals in Japan for the Calgary Flames in 1998.
Laine, 20, now has six goals in 12 games and the Jets have won all four games he’s scored a goal in this season.
“Maybe he’s a little bit too hard on himself sometimes,” Blake Wheeler said.
“Maybe he feels like he’s playing worse than he actually is, but you want a guy that cares. You want to play with guys that want to be great and he’s certainly one of those guys.”
Mathieu Perreault notched the other Jets’ marker while Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each recorded three assists.
Keith Yandle and Evgenii Dadonov scored goals for the Panthers as they outshot Winnipeg 38-36.
Connor Hellebuyck made 36 saves.
The two-game Global Series concludes with the rematch on Friday starting at 1 pm CT.
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