A pretty ho-hum opening period of play which saw Gabriel Bourque score his first goal of the season to give the Jets a 1-0 lead on a nice pass by Kyle Connor. The 1st period would end 1-0 for the Jets with the Sharks holding an 11-6 shot edge a theme that would continue into the next period.
The middle frame looked like it was gonna be all San Jose as they tied the game and then appeared to take the lead when former Jets forward Evander Kane put a puck past Connor Hellebuyck. But his teammate Kevin Lebanc pushed Hellebuyck’s pad so the Jets challenged and the refs agreed. 41 seconds later Mark Scheifele found Blake Wheeler who gave the Jets a 2-1 lead. San Jose would pour it on but Hellebuyck stood tall. Shots continued to favour the home side as they outshot Winnipeg 28-9 for an overall edge of 39-15 after 40 minutes.
The 3rd period wouldn’t get any easier for Winnipeg as the Sharks continued to pour it on. But Connor Hellebuyck continued his unreal performance making save after save after save. And thanks to their goaltender the Jets were in a position to steal the game which they did with 1:27 left in the 3rd period as Jack Roslovic found Nikolaj Ehlers who put it into the back of the net. Shots were 14-4 for San Jose in that final frame and would end 53-19 overall.
With the win Winnipeg improves to 7-7-0 on the season.
For those who would like to take a deeper dive into the advanced stats here are the results from the game via Natural Stat Trick.
– CJ Suess made his NHL debut;
– Mark Scheifele continues his point per game pace;
– Scheifele tied Laine with most assists (10) on the team;
– Nikolaj Ehlers with the game winner which was his team leading 7th goal of the year;
– He’s tied with Scheifele for most points on the team;
– Bryan Little has a four game points streak (2G 3A);
– Blake Wheeler has goals in back-to-back games for the first time this season;
– Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves in the 2nd period alone;
– Hellebuyck would set a career record with 51 saves against.
Coach Maurice: How would he describe the performance of his goalie tonight? How atypical was that win? On the persistence to get the late goal. How much better can they be in a back-to-back? Thoughts on the debut of CJ Suess? Did the Sharks wear themselves out? On the composition of the power play. When was the last time he had a guy turn down a spot on the top power play unit?
All audio courtesy of TSN 1290 Winnipeg.
The Jets will conclude their three game road trip Saturday night in Vegas Kick start your day tomorrow with the AM Jets papers which go live at 7 am on illegalcurve.com.
I also appear on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show every Saturday on TSN 1290 Winnipeg starting at 9 am.
And I occasionally jump in the play-by-play booth at Bell MTS Place to provide colour analysis during Manitoba Moose games.