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Photo Credit: © Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

JN Postgame: Hellebuyck Stops 41, Post Stops 5, Jets Shutout Canucks 4-0

The Winnipeg Jets finally pick up a much needed win on home ice – their first since December 15 – as Connor Hellebuyck makes 41 saves to set the new Jets all-time franchise record for shutouts with his 18th clean sheet in a 4-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

First Period

The start of this game was nearly pure insanity. Consider that in the first three minutes we saw the following:

  • A puck slide under a lifted Canucks net but not over the actual goal line due to Tyler Myers sliding into the goal.
  • Kyle Connor opening scoring 1:22 into the game.

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  • An Anthony Bitteto goal scored seconds later, but removed due to the play being offside.
  • A Jets tripping penalty
  • Connor Hellebuyck’s first save of the night coming off a Canucks breakaway chance.

  • JT Miller breaking the corner stanchion Plexiglas with a frustrated swing of his stick.

There was more action in the first three minutes of this game than there was the entire game against the Nashville Predators

After things settled in a bit, the Jets made it a 2-0 game as Adam Lowry sprung Jack Roslovic for a breakaway goal.

The period ends with the Canucks actually having the lead in shots 13-10 which is pretty much par for the course in Winnipeg even though the Jets had a couple of power plays to work with and only one power play against to kill.

Near the end of the period, the refs miss a sneaky UFC-style elbow strike thrown by the Canucks Jake Virtanen at Mathieu Perreault which cause Matty to lose his cool which one can understand when given the concussion issues he’s had in his career.

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Second Period

The Jets have issues staying out of the penalty box in this period as they take three separate minors – two of them back to back in the midway point of the game – but the penalty kill puts in some decent work and Hellebuyck remains the biggest key in keeping the Canucks off the board.

Again the Canucks have the edge in shots 14-9 in the period thanks in part to those three power plays. The Canucks also ring shots off the post twice in the period after having found iron once in the first frame. The Jets are also doing their part as another half-dozen Canucks shots are blocked by Jets defenders.

While the Canucks can’t buy a goal, Winnipeg adds to their totals on the lone power play chance they had in the period as Blake Wheeler (who also rang iron with a shot seconds earlier) puts a bit of a change-up / pass attempt on the Canucks goal that fools Jacob Markstrom.

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3-0 Jets after two periods.

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Third Period

Before the period starts, we get word Carl Dahlstrom is out for the night and according to Paul Maurice in the post-game presser, suspected to be out for a while.

The Canucks spend the third period with a ton of time in the Jets zone and peppering Hellebuck with rubber, only to have Connor stop all 14 shots faced in the period with some amazing glove work put on display.

For good measure, the Canucks find posts on two other shots in the third just to remind everyone how fortunate the Jets really have been in this game. Not that the Jets didn’t have a bit of bad luck of their own. With the Canucks down by three, they pull the goalie for an extra attacker and Patrik Laine promptly finds the post.

Hellebuyck – not content with just stopping all the pucks – tries scoring with one as well, but his bid isn’t as successful as Nashville’s Pekka Rinne’s was the other night:

The Jets do get that elusive fourth goal though when Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor combine to tuck the game away into the win column.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

This game isn’t going to help the Jets advanced metrics any as Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves and what pucks he didn’t stop he was fortunate enough to find iron behind him.

JetsNation Top Gun

This man should be in the discussion for the Hart Trophy as his name is now in the record books.

The Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets get a couple of days between games now and it’s a good thing too as it will allow Hellebuyck to rest up for a big showdown against a sudden;y red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning club. Puck drop from Winnipeg is Friday night at 7:00 PM CST. The game can be seen on TSN 3 and heard on TSN 1290.