The Winnipeg Jets soared to a win on the back of ‘Hatrik’ Laine, as his three goals were enough to down the Dallas Stars 5-2.
Laine scored three goals, bringing him up to 26 goals on the season, only one behind fellow rookie Auston Matthews after his two-goal game against the New York Islanders. He now has 12 points in his career against the Stars.
On the other side of the rink, the Jets broke a streak of 15 straight games where they allowed at least three goals. Connor Hellebuyck had a great game, making 34 saves and finishing with a .944 save percentage. The Stars continued to struggle in net, with Antti Niemi making 19 saves.
While these two teams are on the wrong side of the playoff picture, one can only imagine the kind of games we may see when they eventually meet in the playoffs. Lots of big hits, questionable calls, and anger made for a very entertaining game.
The first period seemed to fly by. There were very few whistles and only one penalty, which went against the Jets. For most of the period, the Stars controlled the shots, giving the Jets very little room to work.
It took 15 minutes, but the Jets struck first. Mark Scheifele broke out of his zone and carried the puck down the boards, before dumping it off to Andrew Copp. Copp came in on a two-on-one with Laine. He waited for the Stars defender to go down before going around him and passing it across to Laine, who made no mistake.
That was the first goal for Laine in six games. It also snapped a four-game pointless drought for Scheifele.
Penalties started to play a factor, as both teams combined for seven during the second period. Curtis McKenzie and Ben Chiarot squared off eight minutes into the period. Dustin Byfuglien and Antoine Roussel once again went after each other.
Ehlers rings it off the post and off of Niemi's skate but nothing gets added to the #NHLJets scoreboard. pic.twitter.com/hzOHsR42dy
— GameTimeArt (@GameTimeArt) February 15, 2017
The goals picked up as well. The Jets took a two-goal lead off a one-timer from Joel Armia just inside the circle.
Just 65 seconds later, the Stars cut the lead to one. Jason Spezza carried the puck back to the blue line, while Jacob Trouba closely followed him. Trouba made a great play to box him out but ended up falling, which allowed Spezza to walk in. He fired a perfect pass across to Jamie Benn, who put it into the wide open net. The goal was Benn’s 500th NHL point.
The Stars tied it up before the period was over. On the power play, Tyler Seguin carried the puck up to the point and took a low shot, which went through a couple of Stars’ players before making its way past Hellebuyck.
The final frame started to get dirty. Blake Wheeler got hit from behind and no call was made. Adam Lowry took a run at John Klingberg, which send him off for a bit. Jordie Benn came out of the box and caught Copp high, which sent him to the dressing room. Mark Stuart got cross-checked from behind and didn’t get a call, so he headed back to the front of the net and hammered Radek Faksa, taking an unnecessary penalty.
With less than five minutes left, the Jets got a faceoff in the Stars end. Scheifele won the draw, but the puck bounced towards Laine. Laine beat the Stars to it, tucked it in, when fired off a very quick shot that beat Niemi for his second goal of the game, and the Jets second lead of the game.
What. A. Shot.@PatrikLaine29 has 25 on the year, and the #NHLJets have the lead! pic.twitter.com/FCjffVYwuR
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) February 15, 2017
The Jets held onto the lead. With two minutes left, the Stars pulled their goalie. But after a couple of solid blocks in their end, Wheeler picked up the puck and fired a perfect shot into the center of the net from his own faceoff dot. Laine added another empty-net goal from his own end, finishing off the hat trick.
WPG – Patrik Laine (24) assisted by Andrew Copp (6) and Mark Scheifele (29)
WPG – Joel Armia (5) assisted by Shawn Matthias (4) and Paul Postma (11)
DAL – Jamie Benn (19) assisted by Jason Spezza (24) and Tyler Seguin (35)
DAL – Tyler Seguin (21) (PPG) assisted by John Klingberg (24) and Jamie Benn (34)
WPG – Patrik Laine (25) assisted by Mark Scheifele (30)
WPG – Blake Wheeler (17) (ENG) unassisted
WPG – Patrik Laine (26) (ENG) assisted by Mark Scheifele (31) and Josh Morrissey (12)
THW Three Stars
First: Patrik Laine (3 goals, 6 shots)
Second: Tyler Seguin (1 goal, 1 assist)
Third: Connor Hellebuyck (34 saves, .944 save percentage)
Winnipeg Jets at Pittsburgh Penguins
PPG Paints Arena – 6:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, Feb. 16
Broadcast Channels: TSN3
2016-17 Season Series: First meeting of the season
Dallas Stars at Minnesota Wild
Xcel Energy Center – 7:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, Feb. 16
Broadcast Channels: FS-SW
2016-17 Season Series: Oct. 29 – Dallas (0) at Minnesota (4)
Nov. 24 – Dallas (3) at Minnesota (2) (OT)
Jan. 14 – Minnesota (5) at Dallas (4)
Jan. 24 – Minnesota (3) at Dallas (2) (SO)