Blake Wheeler Sparks Offence, Jets Hand Red Wings 12th Straight Loss

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets scored three goals in a two-minute span during the second period to propel them to a 5-1 victory against Detroit on Tuesday — extending the Red Wings’ losing streak to 12 games.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler began the barrage at 16:43 of the middle frame when he beat Red Wings goalie Eric Comrie, who was making his first start since Detroit acquired him in a trade with Arizona Nov. 30.

Andrew Copp and Patrik Laine followed with goals 11 seconds apart to boost the score to 4-1 by the 18:43 mark.

Adam Lowry scored a first-period, short-handed goal and Mark Scheifele notched his team-leading 14th of the season on the power play at 5:04 of the third. Copp and Wheeler also had an assist apiece for the Jets (19-10-2).

Adam Lowry Winnipeg Jets
Adam Lowry, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Christoffer Ehn scored his first goal of the season for the Red Wings (7-22-3), who are 0-10-2 during their losing skid and remain at the bottom of the NHL standings.

Lauren Brossoit made 15 saves for the Jets, who have won four straight at home and are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games.

Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck came into the game for one minute and nine seconds during the second period when Brossoit left the ice to deal with an equipment problem. Hellebuyck faced two shots, one of them Ehn’s goal.

Comrie stopped 25 shots in a very familiar arena.

The Edmonton-born netminder was given a video tribute during the first period to recognize his time with the Jets organization. Comrie was drafted by Winnipeg in 2013 and spent parts of six seasons with the franchise, mainly with its American Hockey League affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.

Eric Comrie, Manitoba Moose
Former Manitoba Moose goalie Eric Comrie (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Lowry scored at 12:17 of the first after he and Copp went in alone on Comrie while the Jets were killing Kyle Connor’s slashing penalty.

After a rebound and scramble in the crease, Comrie had the puck under his arm and Lowry banged at the puck with his stick until it went into the net. Detroit challenged for goaltender interference, but the official announced the puck hadn’t been completely frozen, so the goal stood.

Ehn tied it 1-1 at 7:39 of the second, but Winnipeg responded with the onslaught.

Wheeler got his 200th goal with the Jets franchise, Copp deflected in a Josh Morrissey point shot and Laine made it 4-1 after he stick-handled his way through defenders and beat Comrie.

The Jets had outshot the Red Wings 26-12 through two periods.

Scheifele’s goal extended his point streak to four games with five goals and one assist during that span.

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Detroit had a two-man advantage for just over a minute midway through the third period, but couldn’t capitalize.

Both teams had some players back after lengthy injuries.

Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader returned after missing 15 games with a hand injury and defenseman Trevor Daley had sat out 16 games with a lower-body injury.

Winnipeg forward Gabriel Bourque was back after missing 14 games with a lower-body injury.

The Jets and Red Wings play a rematch in Detroit on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2019.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press