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Photo Credit: © Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G13 Instant Recap: Hattrick Laine Leads The Way Home

It may have been technically a “road game” for the Winnipeg Jets, but part one of Patrik Laine’s homecoming to his native Finland was a resounding success as his hat trick helped pace the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-2 win in Helskini.

TALKING POINTS

  • For all the criticism Patrik Laine has faced, one thing that we’ve noticed going back to the playoffs and especially today is he doesn’t fade in big moments like this. Given the struggles he’s had at times and moving up and down the lineup he’s had to do the last few games, it would have been a bit understandable if Laine didn’t get on the score sheet. Yet there he is with two power play goals and then two fantastic solo rushes to the net – one that draws a critical penalty near the end of the game – and then an empty net goal from about 120 feet away to get the hat trick.
  • It was Laine’s fifth hat trick of his career and the Jets thirteenth since the move to Winnipeg. Laine of course had three in his rookie season (two of them against Dallas) and one last season against the New York Rangers
  • It will be overlooked because of all the Laine craziness, but Dustin Byfuglien had himself a three assist night as did Blake Wheeler. Byfuglien was especially effective in keeping pucks inside the Panthers offensive zone – his leaping stop at the blueline led to Laine’s second goal and eventual game winner on the night.
  • Connor Hellebuyck makes 36 saves and was especially good in the first period when again the Jets had a very slow start to the game and couldn’t seem to get their legs going against a much faster Panthers team.
  • Special teams obviously was a big part of the win today as well with two power play goals, but the Jets penalty kill was maybe more fortunate than it was good on the game today. It also didn’t help that the Jets took some awful penalties in the first period including a Trouba tripping penalty 200 feet away from the Jets net and a Lowry elbowing penalty made worse by his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after yapping at the officials. It would be nice to see the Jets learn to stay out of the box sooner rather than later.

THE BOX SCORE

HIGHLIGHTS

First Period

Second Period

Third Period

 

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Florida: Evgenii Dadonov – Was determined to ruin Jets fans nights with a goal and eight shots on net. His speed is next level and it could have been a much different game had he been able to score on his breakaway chance in the first period that beat Hellebuyck, but just nicked off the crossbar.

For Winnipeg: Patrik Laine – Who else? You’d almost think it was written up to be like this on night one in Finland. Three goals, seven shots on goal and looked as good as he’s been all season.