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This article was published 14/11/2019 (263 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SUNRISE, Fla. — Laurent Brossoit showed no signs of rust buildup in a fine performance between the pipes Thursday night.
The Winnipeg Jets backup goalie looked big and bold in his first starting assignment in 12 days, turning aside 34 shots to help solidify a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers.
He was square to the puck and gobbled up rebounds, shifted around to find shots through traffic and snapped out limbs to deny the Panthers on a number of quality scoring opportunities.
Indeed, the Jets didn’t suffer with Connor Hellebuyck enjoying a rare night off.
"He was absolutely awesome for us, some big, big saves to bail us out on some plays. He just battled all night, but that’s what he’s done since he got here," defenceman Tucker Poolman said. "You have to credit his work habits. We say day in and day out how he takes care of himself in the weight room or on the ice.
"He’s so level-headed and comes to work every day. Those are the reasons why he’s successful."
After a stellar 2018-19 season (13-6-2, 2.52 goals-against average, .925 save percentage), Brossoit’s numbers haven’t been nearly as flashy this season. But the sample size has been small. He’s now 3-2-0 with a 3.92 GAA and .871 SP.
In Broissoit’s previous outing, he gave up three goals to the Vegas Golden Knights and then shut the door the rest of the way as Winnipeg rallied for a 4-3 overtime triumph on Nov. 2.
The long break between games created no ill effects, he said.
"Right from this morning. I felt good from the time I woke up until now. From the drop of the puck all the way through, I felt really good," Brossoit said.
"I think at this point in my career, I’ve had a lot of experience and needing to bounce back and have a bit of time between games. It’s nice the boys played as good as they did defensively. I thought there wasn’t a whole lot of odd-man rushes and Florida definitely feeds on that. Hats off to the boys as well."
Brossoit had no chance on Aleksander Barkov’s rebound goal in the opening period with the Jets a man short, made a sensational save off Vincent Trocheck before the Florida centre popped in the rebound from the edge of the crease, and then couldn’t snag a deflection by Trocheck with the Panthers using an extra attacker late in the game.
Winnipeg clearly exudes confidence with the 26-year-old netminder from Port Alberni, B.C., protecting the crease.
"LB was awesome. I don’t think he had a hope on any of those goals," blue-liner Josh Morrissey said. "That’s a tough thing to do — everyone knows when you miss a couple of weeks and then coming back and trying to play at your best. It is challenging but I thought he did a great job."
Prior to the game, Jets head coach Paul Maurice said the team will keep finding spots in the schedule to rest Hellebuyck, who is 8-6-1 with a tidy 2.40 GAA and sparkling .928 SP.
"We’ve got to be mindful of the numbers that Connor is running. What a great run (for Hellebuyck). I don’t think he’s been lucky in the net, he’s just been positionally so very, very good and on. (The guys have) lots of confidence playing in front of him, the same way we feel about Laurent, our goaltending has been rock solid," Maurice said.
"We may have to look to see if we can find (a similar break) again. (Hellebuyck) really used his rest very, very well. So, he came down on his own and skated (Thursday) morning with (goalie coach Wade Flaherty) He likes that. If we can get him one of those every couple of weeks, some one-on-one time... he’ll be re-charged."
Assistant sports editor
Jason Bell wanted to be a lawyer when he was a kid. The movie The Paper Chase got him hooked on the idea of law school and, possibly, falling in love with someone exactly like Lindsay Wagner (before she went all bionic).
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