Wheeler, Scheifele lead Jets past Avalanche 6-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Blake Wheeler had two goals and an assist and Mark Scheifele assisted on three goals as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Friday night.
Wheeler ended a 15-game goal drought and Scheifele now has seven points in his last three games.
Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which is 5-2-1 during its 10-game homestand. Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers each had two assists and Laine added one.
Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves to pick up his 30th win of the season. It was the most wins by a Jets goalie since the franchise moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season. Ondrej Pavelec had 29 wins the first season.
Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen nixed Hellebuyck’s shutout bid when he scored unassisted on a wraparound with 5:56 left in the third period.
Colorado goalie Jonathan Bernier was pulled following the second period after Winnipeg went up 4-0 on 20 shots. Semyon Varlamov stopped six of the eight shots he faced in relief for the Avalanche.
Wheeler’s drought-ending goal — he had a dozen assists during that span while playing center — came when his shot from behind the goal line hit Bernier’s left skate and slid inside the post at 10:09 of the first period.
The Jets outmuscled and stole the puck just before their first two goals in the second.
Byfuglien won a battle along the boards with winger Gabriel Landeskog and passed the puck to Connor for his 19th goal of the season at 10:49.
Scheifele then stole the puck from Rantanen while Winnipeg was short-handed and went on a two-on-one for Copp’s fifth goal of the season at 15:50.
Four seconds after Avalanche forward Gabriel Bourque went to the penalty box for goaltender interference, Laine scored his team-leading 26th goal and NHL-leading 15th power play of the season on a one-timer with 28 seconds left in the period.
Ehlers deflected in a Myers’ shot from the point 5:24 into the third period for his 22nd goal. Wheeler put in his second of the game at 7:54 with a shot through over Varlamov’s glove.
Rantanen finished off the game’s scoring with his 18th of the season.
The Avalanche go home to take on Edmonton on Sunday.
The Jets host Florida Sunday night.
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