Backup Brossoit brilliant as Winnipeg Jets blank Vancouver Canucks

It was déjà vu all over again for the Vancouver Canucks.

Winnipeg Jets goalie Laurent Brossoit returned to his hometown, the site of his only career shutout, and blanked the Canucks for a second time as the Jets earned a 2-0 victory at the Rogers Arena.

This time Brossoit made 29 saves for the shutout. It was the Jets’ first game in Vancouver since December 22, 2018 where Brossoit stopped 40 shots in a 1-0 shutout of the Canucks.

“They all feel good,” Brossoit said. “Especially when it’s in your hometown, it feels that much better. It’s just another good game to add to a good start to our season.”

Backed by Brossoit, the Jets improved to 10-6-1 on the season.

It was Brossoit’s first game in more than two weeks as he made just his fourth start of the season.

“He’s gone long runs because of the schedule,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “And been able to come out with some really big performances. He’s underrated.

“Our goaltending tandem is just exceptionally strong.”

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“LB was excellent tonight,” defenceman Neal Pionk said. “Obviously our best player. He’s got one of the harder jobs in the league. He knows that Bucky (Connor Hellebuyck) is gonna get most of the games, and he comes in, and he’s been ready to play this year. It’s been awesome.”

“He’s been fantastic,” Scheifele said. “Every game he comes in, he gives us a chance to win. It’s pretty awesome when you have two great goalies that no matter who’s in we know we’re going to get their best.”

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Brossoit outdueled Canucks tender Thatcher Demko in a showcase of good goaltending. Demko was only beaten once with Mark Scheifele scoring on a breakaway in the first period. Mason Appleton closed out the scoring into an empty net with under two minutes remaining.

The Jets have now won six straight games in Vancouver.

The Jets managed to lock down the Canucks in the third period, where Vancouver only managed a couple of scoring chances, while getting held to only nine shots on goal.

“We shut it down,” said Scheifele. “We had good sticks. We didn’t allow a lot of second chance opportunities.

“We knew going in that it was going to be a tight checking game. It was going to be a defensive battle, and it definitely lived up to those expectations.”

The Jets still haven’t lost back to back games in regulation time this season.

And while a majority of their wins have come in high scoring affairs, the Jets proved on this night they can also come out on top in the close checking games as well.

“We haven’t been in a whole lot of those this year,” said Scheifele. “Last time we did it, we came out, and we weren’t prepared for the grind that Vancouver was going to give us. And we did a much better job of preparing ourselves tonight.”

Winnipeg edged Vancouver in shots 31-29.

Scheifele’s first period goal extended his point streak to nine games. He also has a goal in each of the last four contests,

Appleton’s goal gives him five for the year, which matches his career best from last season.

Forward Pierre-Luc Dubois missed a fourth consecutive game, but Nate Thompson returned to the lineup after a 12-game absence. Thompson replaced Kristian Vesalainen in his first game in almost a month.

Thompson had one hit, and one block in 6:56 of ice time.

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The Jets opened the scoring a little over seven minutes into the first period. Scheifele won the race to a loose puck in the neutral zone and sped in on the breakaway. He outmaneuvered Demko and scored on the backhand for his ninth goal of the season.

A majority of the first period was spent in the Canuck’s zone, but Scheifele’s marker was the only goal of the opening period. The Jets outshot the Canucks 15-9 in the first 20 minutes.

Vancouver came on stronger in the middle stanza, and with under three minutes left in the second, Nate Schmidt was denied on a breakaway by Brossoit. The puck initially slid behind him, but Brossoit pounced on it right before it crossed the goal line.

The Jets came close to taking a two-goal lead in the dying seconds of the period. After a goal mouth scramble the officials went to video review to see if the puck crossed the line. But it was ruled no goal.

The Canucks led in the shot department 11-8 in the period, but Brossoit made some timely saves to preserve the one-goal lead.

Neither team gave up much in the way of scoring chances in the final frame before Appleton sealed the win with an empty netter.

Tempers erupted in the final minute after Derek Forbort rubbed out Nils Hoglander into the side boards. All 10 skaters on the ice got involved in the scrum as both Forbort and Jake Virtanen were given game misconducts.

The Jets will close out the four-game road trip on Sunday with the rematch against the Canucks. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:00 pm and you can hear the game live on 680 CJOB with Kelly Moore, Paul Edmonds, and Jamie Thomas.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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