Jets edge Sabres 4-3

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Blake Wheeler scored once and added an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-3 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres Friday night.

The Jets captain continued scoring with the move over from the wing to centre postion since Mark Scheifele went down with injury against the Edmonton Oilers, registering points in his last five games.

But he isn't buying into the hype.

“It’s the ebbs and flows of the season. In four games, you have 10 points. Sometimes you’ll go five or six games and just a couple of them. I’ve told you all along, it’s not about points for me. It’s finding a way to help our team win. Obviously, when Scheifele went down, I wanted to step up and make an impact, but I’m not alone in that. I think everyone did that. Team has been playing good, puck has been finding me," said Wheeler.

"I think it’s just coincidence," he added.

Jacob Trouba also had a goal and assist for the Jets, who have registered points in their last five outings, winning four of them, their only blemish a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday.

But even Trouba says there is nothing special about what they are doing.

“Nothing. Just keep playing the way. We’re figuring out there’s a time in the game where you pretty much have to shut it down. I’m not going to say play safe, but play smart and do what you’ve got to do to play the game," he said.

Dustin Byfuglien also scored for Winnipeg tallying his first goal of the season to open the scoring in the first period.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots for the Jets, who moved to 24-11-7 on the season.

Marco Scandella and Johan Larsson scored for the Sabres who suffered their third straight loss (10-22-9).

Chad Johnson turned aside 25 shots for Buffalo, who wrap up a three-game road trip in Philadelphia on Sunday while Winnipeg hosts San Jose.

Dustin Byfuglien scored on the power play at 9:27 of the first period converting a Blake Wheeler pass from the right side boards to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.

The goal was his first of the season.

Wheeler moved down the side boards to draw the Buffalo forward in before sliding the disc back to Byfuglien who blasted a slap shot past Sabres goaltender Chad Johnson, beating him with a low heavy blast.

Marco Scandella evened the contest at 11:40, converting a Evan Rodrigues feed past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck with a low slapshot to make it 1-1.

The goal was his first of the season.

Jacob Trouba put Winnipeg ahead at the 15:26 mark, converting an Andrew Copp feed, one timing a blast from the point past Johnson to make it 2-1.

The goal was his third of the season.

With Zemgus Girgensons off for tripping Jets captain Blake Wheeler gave the Jets a 3-1 lead with a power play marker just over six minutes into the second period, taking a Tyler Myers feed at the right point before moving in to the face off dot before ripping a wrist shot past Johnson, beating the Buffalo goaltender with a low short side shot at 6:06.

The goal was his 14th of the season.

Johan Larsson scored at 18:03 of the second period off a pass from Jacob Josefson to make it 3-2.

The goal was his 2nd of the season.

Bryan Little scored 25 seconds into the third period, pouncing on a rebound off a Jacob Trouba shot from the point to make it 4-2 Jets.

Scott Wilson fired his first goal of the year 12:17 into the third period to pull the Sabres to within a goal to make it 4-3.

Buffalo Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley pulled Johnson with just over two minutes remaining in the third period to get the equalizer.

Housley said the game followed an all too familiar theme with his club this season. "It seems like it's a lot of the same questions with a lot of the same answers. You know it starts out we take a penalty 200 ft from our net. You can't afford to do those kind of things against a good like this (Jets). Especially a power play that's top four in the league."

SHOTS-BUFFALO 29 WINNIPEG 29

ATTENDANCE-15,294

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 February 2018 04:15
Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.