Wild Snap Skid With Win Over Jets

WINNIPEG — Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves as the Minnesota Wild ended a season-high five-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

Defenceman Matt Bartkowski scored in his debut with the Wild (18-16-3). Charlie Coyle netted his sixth goal of the season and Eric Fehr sent the puck into an empty net. Zach Parise added a pair of assists.

Patrik Laine scored on the power play for his 24th goal of the season for Winnipeg, and his first point in five games.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 21 shots for the Central Division-leading Jets (24-12-2).

Minnesota was 0-4-1 in its past five games, with only five goals during. Dubnyk had been pulled in a 5-2 loss to Chicago on Thursday after letting in three goals on 10 shots.

Minnesota Wild Devan Dubnyk
Minnesota Wild’s goaltender Devan Dubnyk (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)

It marks only the second time Winnipeg has lost two straight games this season. Calgary defeated the Jets 4-1 on Thursday. Coincidentally, the earlier pair of losses were also against Calgary and then Minnesota in late November.

Minnesota led 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 after two.

Called up earlier in the day, Bartkowski benefited when the Jets couldn’t clear the puck out of their own end. He took a pass from Marcus Foligno at the point and sent a straight-on shot past a screened Connor Hellebuyck at 9:28.

Minnesota outshot the Jets 11-6 in the opening period, which featured six Winnipeg giveaways and line shuffles by head coach Paul Maurice.

Coyle made it 2-0 for the visitors at 2:17 of the second. A shot by Wild forward Luke Kunin hit the stick of Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba and the puck bounced to Coyle, who sent it over Hellebuyck’s arm.

Winnipeg had the game’s first power play with 3:07 left in the second, but got only one shot at Dubnyk. Minnesota had a 10-7 advantage in shots on goal in the middle frame.

The Jets had another power play early in the third and made it count with 23 seconds remaining in a holding penalty to Nino Niederreiter.

After whiffing on a one-timer, Laine’s second opportunity was a rocket over Dubnyk’s blocker at 7:21. It was his 11th power-play marker of the season, tops in the league.

Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien went to the dressing room midway through the third period after appearing to hurt his leg when he and Kunin collided along the boards.

Fehr scored his fifth of the season into the empty net with 47 seconds remaining in the third.

Winnipeg plays in Edmonton on Monday. The Wild host Pittsburgh the same day.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press