Huge third period, perfect Hellebuyck help Jets blank Blues 4-0

Now that’s how you close out a game.

With a one-goal lead heading to the third period, the Winnipeg Jets absolutely dominated the final 20 minutes en route to a 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The Jets outshot the Blues 21-7 in the final frame, while scoring three times to snap a short two-game losing skid.

It was arguably their first complete, 60-minute effort of the season in improving to 3-3.

“That was just solid,” said forward Mark Scheifele. “There was nothing special, there was no toe drags, or nothing fancy.

“You need everyone to score to win games and tonight we had everyone. Everyone was making good plays. Everyone was playing simple when they needed to. They shut it down when they needed to, and that’s what you need when you play against a good team like that.”

It was the Blues first defeat of the season and St. Louis hadn’t even trailed in a game until the loss to the Jets.

Winnipeg recorded a season-high 43 shots on net.

All four forward lines made offensive contributions with Scheifele, Sam Gagner, Morgan Barron, and Cole Perfetti scoring for Winnipeg in the win. 11 different skaters registered at least a point.

“We did a great job of battling and getting from zone to zone to zone,” said associate coach Scott Arniel. “Getting it into their end of the rink. It was going to be pretty getting it there and sometimes it was chipping pucks out, sometimes it was not trying to go east-west through the neutral zone.

“That was a real complete game, and I thought all our lines, all our D (defence), like, everybody was rock solid.”

Arniel was once again calling the shots behind the bench. Head coach Rick Bowness was back home resting after experiencing dizzy spells in the morning after just re-joining the team following a bout with COVID-19.

“He just had a little bit of a setback,” Arniel said. “Just taking it day-to-day here and see how he feels tomorrow.”

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 25 shots for his first shutout of the season and the 29th of his career.

“It felt great,” said Hellebuyck. “It felt like it was a step in the right direction. We know we have it in this room and we needed to show up for 60 minutes and now that we have, we have something to build on.”

Josh Morrissey recorded a pair of assists and with Perfetti scoring the empty-net goal, he’s now riding a four-game point streak.

READ MORE: ANALYSIS: Challenging start to new season puts Winnipeg Jets below .500

Neither side was able to find the back of the net in the first period but Hellebuyck and Thomas Greiss were kept busy as both teams had 13 shots on goal, with the Blues having the more dangerous chances.

Each team had multiple power plays come and go as the game passed the midway point, which is right around the time the Jets finally broke the deadlock.

With Scheifele parked in front of Greiss, Morrissey rocketed a pass from the point right to Scheifele’s stick. The Jets centreman deftly tucked the puck around the outstretched pad of Greiss to open the scoring at the 10:30 mark. It was Scheifele’s team-leading fourth goal of the season.

The game remained 1-0 heading to the third when Winnipeg pressed hard to build on the lead. They strung together a number of high quality chances but could not beat the St. Louis netminder despite outshooting the Blues 8-1 in the first six minutes of the period.

The dam finally burst at the 10:38 mark when Gagner blasted a feed from Kyle Connor five-hole on Greiss for his third goal of the season.

Any hope of a Blues comeback was snuffed out a few minutes later when Adam Lowry found Barron alone in front of the net, and Barron buried it as a stick-check from a Blues defender broke his stick.

Despite being down by three, the Blues decided to pull the goalie with just over two minutes left. Perfetti hit the empty net with 1:34 to go for his first goal of the season.

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Next up is a visit to Los Angeles Thursday night. The pregame show begins on 680 CJOB at 7:30 p.m. with the puck dropping shortly after 9:30 p.m.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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