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Photo Credit: © James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

JNR: Laine Hat-Trick Powers Winnipeg Past Ottawa

It was an overall excellent effort from the Jets as they took down the Senators this afternoon. The Jets were powered by the top line as Connor and Laine both had big games. Connor finished with a goal and three assists and was the leading point scorer of the game while Laine scored three straight goals for Winnipeg, including the game winner, all on the powerplay. In the end, it was too much for the Senators to handle as the Jets continued their strong play as the game wore on. Brossoit got the win in goal as the Jets have a quick turnaround before their game against the Blackhawks tomorrow evening.

Here’s the breakdown of the game.

First Period

It was an eventful first period to kick off Hockey Day in Canada with Beaulieu dropping the gloves with Nick Paul just over two minutes into the game. These teams don’t see each other often, but it didn’t seem to matter as the intensity was there from the beginning. Winnipeg got the first powerplay of the game a short while later but they weren’t able to get anything going. Scheifele had an open look from the slot but wasn’t able to finish as the Jets continue to struggle on the man-advantage.

The Jets didn’t need the man-advantage to open the scoring however, as Neal Pionk came flying in and unloaded a wicked slapper from the point. It made it’s way past everything to give Winnipeg the 1-0 lead.

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Winnipeg took a penalty of their own later in the first as Laine pushed Anderson’s stick away from him as it was lying outside the crease. It was called goalie interference and came directly after Scheifele had a wide open net to score. His shot was blocked by the defensemen as the Jets couldn’t widen their lead.

The Jets killed off the ensuing powerplay and things remained the same throughout the rest of the period. The only other item of significance was Wheeler getting into a fight with Tkachuk. This came after Tkachuk had a big hit on Pionk near the benches. Wheeler didn’t like the hit and the gloves came off for the second time in the period.

After the eventful first frame, the Jets were ahead 1-0.

Second Period

While the first period was full of physicality, the second period was filled with goals as Ottawa tied the game on the opening shift. The Jets got caught flat footed  as Ottawa came up the ice on a partial two on one. Pageau was able to get in tight and lift the puck past Brossoit to get Ottawa on the board.

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The Jets had to kill off a penalty a few minutes later as Ehlers was called for tripping. The Jets did well on the PK and Ehlers came out of the box with speed. He sped out of the defensive zone and lifted the puck ahead to Connor on a partial breakaway. He made no mistake as he beat Anderson short-side to restore Winnipeg’s one goal lead.

It was Winnipeg’s turn to go on the powerplay later in the period as Reilly was sent to the box for hooking Scheifele behind the net. The Jets PP went to work as they tried to get something going after a bad string of powerplays. Things worked out well as Pionk was able to get a puck through to the net. It bounced off a few bodies in front and ended up laying just outside the crease. Laine was the first one on it and put it home to give the Jets a 3-1 lead.

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Things seemed be going great. The Jets just scored a powerplay goal, they were now up by two, and things were going quite well. That is, until Pionk totally fluffed a pass from behind the net. He went for a long breakout pass across the ice, but he whiffed on the puck and sent a gift right into the slot. Brossoit wasn’t able to recover in time and Ottawa scored one of their easiest goals of the year.

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As the period was just about to end, the Jets drew another penalty, this time it was on Wheeler who nearly broke through for a breakaway. After scoring earlier in the period, the powerplay had some more confidence as they opened up the two goal lead once again. It came from another Pionk point shot, but this time it was tipped in the slot by Laine. Anderson never had a chance as the puck switched directions and deflected past him.

After a wild ride of ups and downs in the second period, the Jets headed into the third up 4-2.

Third Period

With the first period filled with fights, the second filled with goals, what would the third be filled with? The answer was hats as Patrik Laine completed the hat-trick with his third powerplay goal of the game. It came off a great backcheck from Laine as Ottawa tried to come in on a three on two while shorthanded. Laine stole the puck as the Sens got over the blue line and the Jets turned up ice. It resulted in a four on one where Wheeler found Laine for the easy goal.

With the lead now three goals, Winnipeg played a smart and safe third as they didn’t give up many chances of Brossoit. They closed out the game and banked another two points which puts them temporarily back in the wildcard spot.

TL;DR Why the Jets Won

After struggling on the powerplay over the last few games, they turned the tide in this game. Laine scored three straight powerplay goals to fuel the victory. The rest of the special teams was great as well with the penalty kill going three for three. Three powerplay goals and a perfect penalty kill is the recipe for success as the Jets overpowered Ottawa this afternoon.

Jetsnation Top Gun

It was the eighth hat-trick of Laine’s career, but his first hat-trick consisting of only powerplay goals. Laine was engaged early in this one as he was physical in the opening period. He scored three goals, but the third specifically was created because of his excellent backcheck and ability to create a turnover. We all know Laine can score, but it’s the other things he’s starting to do that is making this his best season to date.

Boxscore

Next Flight

The Jets have a quick turnaround as they are back on the ice tomorrow against the Blackhawks. Luckily there’s no travel involved as they get to sleep in their own beds tonight. With Chicago so close to Winnipeg in the standings, it’s going to be a hard fought battle as both clubs are fighting for the wildcard spots. Puck drop is at 6:00 PM.