Jets down Stars 4-2 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Patrick Laine must mark games against the Dallas Stars on his calendar.

The fact is he scores a lot against them.

The rising star has 14 goals in 9 career games against Dallas and once again he enjoyed a good night against them, firing a pair of goals to pace the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-2 win over the Stars Sunday night.

"Yeah. I guess so. I think I’m just pretty lucky against Dallas. I don’t know why, but hopefully it’s not bad that we’re not playing against Dallas any more this season. There's a chance that we’re going to meet in the playoffs, so why not?”

The goals extended his point scoring streak to 15 games and is the longest active one in the NHL and adds to his record for longest point streak by a teenager in the league.

It includes 18 goals and 8 assists.

The pair also moved him into a tie with Alex Ovechkin in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy for the league's top goal scorer with 43, a fact he is aware of.

"No. Just look at the team standings. But it sounds good to me. Like I’ve said before, maybe a week ago, I don’t want to be tied. I want to take the solo lead and I’ll try to do that next game," said Laine.

But his coach, Paul Maurice didn't really love his game overall on the night. “I’ve loved his game, maybe up until tonight. I thought his game was okay. Everybody don’t panic, I’m not picking on him. But his games prior to tonight showed a really big change in style of play, (with) his speed. That is the most exciting thing. He’s always going to be able to score because he’s a shooter. So it will come and go, like all shooters, but he’ll still going to always have that shot. He had it the day he walked in the door. But what we will need, as his minutes grow and the competition he plays against (gets tougher), we’ll need him to develop other parts of his game," he said.

Ben Chiarot and Blake Wheeler added singles as the Jets moved to 43-19-10 on the season to solidify their hold on second place in the Central Division with 96 points.

Connor Hellebuyck posted the win for Winnipeg, turning aside 28 shots.

Ben Bishop and Kari Lehtonen combined to stop 20 shots for Dallas, who dropped to 38-27-8.

The Stars lost their fourth straight and clung to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 84 points.

Bishop started but was replaced by Lehtonen with 9:49 remaining in the first period after moving across his crease to make a save on Bryan Little.

Patrick Laine got Winnipeg on the board with less than a second remaining in the first period with a power play marker. With Jamie Benn off for tripping the Jets won the ensuing faceoff in the Stars end before a sprawling Blake Wheeler got the puck to Laine in the slot which the Finnish winger promptly hammered past Kari Lehtonen to put the Jets up 1-0.

The goal was his 42nd of the season and 19th power play marker.

Wheeler took over the NHL lead in assists on the play with 61 this season.

Mattias Janmark tied the contest 1:13 into the second period, converting a Radek Faksa feed past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to make it 1-1.

The goal was his 18th of the season.

The Jets regained the lead just over a minute later when a Ben Chiarot slapper found it's way through a crowd and hit the net just inside the right goal post at 2:17.

Patrick Laine scored at 6:43 firing a wrister just inside the far post on Lehtonen after receiving a touch pass from Nikolaj Ehlers from the high slot on the rush.

The goal was his 43rd of the season.

Dallas pulled to within a goal on the power play at 17:13 when Jamie Benn moved in off the side boards and wired a wrister which he managed to fit just under the cross bar over Hellebuyck's shoulder to make it 3-2.

The goal was his 26th of the season.

“I think we took a step in the right direction here," said Stars defenceman Jon Klingberg, who assisted on Benn's goal. "We played a better game five-on-five, we got one on the power play as well. Tough break on the (penalty kill) in the first, but that's how hockey is and we've just got to move on.”

Blake Wheeler added an empty netter with 1:29 left in regulation to make it 4-2 Winnipeg.

The goal was his 19th of the season.

“I thought we were resilient," said Wheeler. "They came out with a little bit of a push in the second, we answered right away, scored a big goal to get that lead again. It’s the way it’s going to be, 3-2 going into the third against a really good team. We had some really good moments in the third, they had some really good moments. Our goalie made some really big saves, so did theirs. So, it was a good hockey game. We did enough to stay out in front, and, like I said, scoring that goal pretty quick after they tied it was a big moment."

Stars Head Coach Ken Hitchcock was happy with the effort but not the result on the night.

"Winnipeg's got a good team. They make you pay for errors that you make in your own zone. We made a couple of them and they made us pay for it," he said.

"We did a good job. We did a really good job until they scored the flukey power play goal. I mean the guy is on his belly (Wheeler) and he makes a pass that goes through three people," said Hitchcock. "We did a really good job. But once he (Laine) gets a sniff you know that's what I told the players. You can't give him a sniff and we did a really good job until that last shift killing the penalty and he scored. That's all he needs."

SHOTS-DALLAS 30 WINNIPEG 24

ATTENDANCE-15,294

NOTES-Jets D Jacob Trouba left the game early in the third period after colliding helmet-on-helmet before hitting the ice with his head. He will be evaluated Monday.

Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop is out for at least two weeks after leaving the game in the first period.

Last modified on Monday, 19 March 2018 05:12
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.