The Winnipeg Jets finally found a way to sink the San Jose Sharks.
After losing two games in San Jose back in October, the Jets avoided a sweep in the season-series with a 4-1 win in Winnipeg on Thursday night.
Winnipeg (7-3-3, 3rd Central Division) snapped a two-game losing skid with the victory, and now have at least a point in 10 of their past 11 games.
After getting at least a point in eight of the first nine games, Pierre-Luc Dubois was kept off the scoresheet the past three straight games, but he bounced back with a goal and an assist in the victory. His line with Kyle Connor and Evgeny Svechnikov continued to be dangerous with Connor scoring for the second consecutive game.
The Jets fell behind by a goal in the first period, but scored four straight unanswered goals the rest of the way and only got stronger as the game wore on.
“We were good in the second half on,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “We got a little more physical on our forecheck. We got more pucks on the wall. We got more zone time. The second half of the game we were good, which I was pleased with because I thought that the first part of that game, looked like parts of the other game where it could have gone either way, and it didn’t.”
The game was tied in the late stages of second period when the Jets scored goals only five minutes apart, with Jansen Harkins putting them ahead by two goals with just 44 seconds remaining in the stanza.
“It’s a lot easier going into the third period with a two-goal lead,” said Adam Lowry. “You’re feeling better, you’ve been kinda rewarded for some of the chances.”
Defenceman Nate Schmidt scored his first goal since joining the Jets, and the timing couldn’t have been better with his parents watching in the crowd for the first time at the Canada Life Centre.
“When you draw something up and it ends up working out, it’s always pretty cool,” Schmidt said. “Mom and dad were here tonight too, so, first game in Winnipeg. I could hear my mom whistling. Seriously, it’s like, from when you were like a kid, it’s wild.”
The Sharks struck first just over six minutes into the game when Andrew Cogliano potted his second of the season. But that would be the only time the Sharks would beat Connor Hellebuyck.
Later in the opening frame, Connor crashed the net to bury a rebound. Connor now has 10 goals in the first 13 games of the season, which hasn’t been done by a Jets player since Igor Korolev during the 1995-96 campaign.
The Jets took the lead with under six minutes to go in the second period when Schmidt fired a point shot past Sharks goalie James Reimer for his first goal of the season.
With 44 seconds left in the period, Harkins tapped in a feed from Lowry for his second goal of the season.
Dubois rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter late in the third for his eighth of the year.
Dubois had a multi-point night (1 G, 1 A) as did Andrew Copp (2 A), who now has 14 points in 13 games this season.
Hellebuyck made 26 saves in the win while Reimer, the Morweena, Man. product, stopped 30 shots.
Paul Stastny missed his second straight game due to an injury.
Winnipeg moved to 3-1-1 on their season-high seven-game homestand.
Next up for the Jets is a date with the red-hot Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night (6 p.m., 680 CJOB).
Since the Jets beat the Kings in LA on October 28, the Kings have rolled off seven straight victories.
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