By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
WINNIPEG — Blake Wheeler assisted on four goals, including the game winner, as the Winnipeg Jets snapped a six-game skid in a 7-2 victory over their division rivals, the Dallas Stars. Here are your Quick Hits from the game:
How it happened: What a first period that was! The Jets starting things off with Trouba’s eighth goal of the year at the 3:11 mark to give them the early lead. It lasted just over three minutes before Alex Chaisson of the Stars converted his 12th. Just 37 seconds later and the Jets found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-1 score line as Tyler Seguin scored his fifth goal in four games against the Jets. The Jets didn’t give up and tied the game on a slick backhand past a sprawling Tim Thomas off the stick of Michael Frolik, his 14th of the season. The Jets would take the lead before the period wound down. Patrice Cormier, called up yesterday with the injury to Jim Slater, made a nice feed to spring Blake Wheeler in on goal. Wheeler missed on his shot but collected his rebound, passed it in front to Enstrom who made no mistake for his eighth of the year.
The Jets didn’t cool off during the intermission and 29 seconds into the second frame Olli Jokinen potted his 16th of the year. Wheeler grabbed his third assists of the night on the goal; his first multi-assist game of the season and helped put the Jets up 4-2. Thomas’ night was over as Lindy Ruff mad the call to pull the former Conn Smythe winner in favour of Cristopher Nilstorp. The Jets got a glorious opportunity on a 5-on-3 power play near the end of the period to step on the throats of the Stars. Nothing came of the two-man advantage, but with Trevor Daley still serving a high-sticking minor, Dustin Byfuglien blasted a shot from the point that beat Nilstorp for his 18th of the year to give the Jets a commanding 5-2 lead heading into the third period.
The Jets were cooking going into the second intermission and the oven just got hotter in the third. Dustin Byfuglien scored his second of the night and 19th of the season at the 3:14 mark with Wheeler assisting for the fourth time. Evander Kane then snapped a personal 11-game goalless drought four minutes later on a nice deke that beat Nilstorp as Kane toppled over his body. Dustin Byfuglien left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.
Shots: 34-27 Jets
What it means: The win snaps a six-game winless streak for the team. It also represents a four-point swing in the race for the final wild card spot in the Western conference. The Jets are now four points back of the team they beat tonight.
Jets player of the game: Take your pick. Enstrom had a strong night on the scoresheet, as did Blake Wheeler. Olli Jokinen also added a goal and two assists. Dustin Byfuglien had two goals including a power play tally as well as an assist. Lots of good things that the Jets will desperately need to carry forward into tomorrow night’s matchup against the St. Louis Blues.
Jets stat of the game: Blake Wheeler had four assists on the night to regain the Jets points lead. Toby Enstrom had a goal and two assists, including the game winner. Kane snapped an 11-game goalless drought in the third period with his 16th of the season.
What is next for the Jets: Tonight’s game was the first in a back-to-back. The Jets will fly to St. Louis to play the Blues tomorrow night. Their next home game comes on Wednesday when they face the Colorado Avalanche at the MTS Centre.