September 19, 2018

Winnipeg
7° C, Partly cloudy

Full Forecast

Record: 52 – 20 – 10

Winnipeg Jets Logo

Winnipeg Jets (52 – 20 – 10)

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Young snipers get groove back

Ehlers, Connor, Laine bust mini-slumps to dull Sabres

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane (9) passes the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane (9) passes the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/1/2018 (252 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

BUFFALO — The young, dynamic skill of the Winnipeg Jets continues to propel the club to new heights — even though a couple of the snipers had been misfiring as of late.

Case in point was a 7-4 triumph over a struggling but plucky Buffalo Sabres squad Tuesday night.

Danish speedster Nikolaj Ehlers, who turns 22 on Valentine’s Day, snapped his 18th and 19th goals of the season on a couple of mirror-image, top-shelf jobs, snapping an eight-game scoring drought in the process.

Just a month past his 21st birthday, Kyle Connor, who started the year in the AHL but has cemented himself on the Jets’ top line, scored his 14th and 15th on a pair of pretty snipes, while Patrik Laine, 19, opened the scoring with his 19th — the 100th point of his career in just his 117th NHL contest — to halt a seven-game goalless streak.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/1/2018 (252 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

BUFFALO — The young, dynamic skill of the Winnipeg Jets continues to propel the club to new heights — even though a couple of the snipers had been misfiring as of late.

Case in point was a 7-4 triumph over a struggling but plucky Buffalo Sabres squad Tuesday night.

Danish speedster Nikolaj Ehlers, who turns 22 on Valentine’s Day, snapped his 18th and 19th goals of the season on a couple of mirror-image, top-shelf jobs, snapping an eight-game scoring drought in the process.

Just a month past his 21st birthday, Kyle Connor, who started the year in the AHL but has cemented himself on the Jets’ top line, scored his 14th and 15th on a pair of pretty snipes, while Patrik Laine, 19, opened the scoring with his 19th — the 100th point of his career in just his 117th NHL contest — to halt a seven-game goalless streak.

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Winnipeg Jets Tyler Myers (57) Nikolaj Ehlers (27) and Joel Armia (40) celebrate a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets Tyler Myers (57) Nikolaj Ehlers (27) and Joel Armia (40) celebrate a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Laine and Ehlers, pretty much joined at the hip off the ice, share the team goal-scoring lead.

Connor, who snapped a three-game pointless skid, is now second in NHL rookie goal scoring behind only the Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser (22)

Winnipeg (26-11-7) has won three straight and is 6-0-1 in its last seven contests, while Buffalo (10-24-9) suffered its fourth straight defeat and has two wins in its last dozen games (2-7-3).

The Jets remain atop the Central Division, three points up on the Nashville Predators (25-11-6) and four ahead of the St. Louis Blues (26-17-3).

Little-used goalie Steve Mason was inserted as the last line of defence for the Jets and won just his third game of the season. The veteran netminder, starting for the first time since a loss to the New York Islanders Dec. 23, finished with 30 saves at KeyBank Center.

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine (29) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

Dustin Byfuglien netted his second goal of the season and Joel Armia added his seventh into an empty net for the Jets, who led 2-1 and 5-2 at the breaks.

But Jets head coach Paul Maurice was raving about the squad’s high-profile youngsters in his post-game chat with reporters.

"The two guys with 19 (goals), score more goals than their ages. A lot of good young skill on that ice surface, some great shooters," he said. "Both those guys and (Connor) at 15 (goals) in his first year (NHL season) before the all-star break... some real fine skill there.

"Nik Ehlers’ hockey game, he hasn’t scored in the last couple but his game has been just outstanding. I’m glad he got rewarded because we need him to keep playing the way he’s playing. He’s been great at both ends."

Ehlers was going in top gear all night long and had the hard wrister dialled in. He cut Sabres starting goalie Robin Lehner’s night short early in the second period on a seeing-eye shot to the top corner just 1:26 into the middle frame to beef up the Jets’ lead to 3-1.

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor (81) puts the puck past Buffalo Sabres goalie Chad Johnson (31) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets forward Kyle Connor (81) puts the puck past Buffalo Sabres goalie Chad Johnson (31) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

He then ripped a similar shot past Lehner’s replacement, Chad Johnson, at 15:42 of the second with Buffalo’s Jordan Nolan in the box serving a double-minor for roughing.

Indeed, the goals are a whole lot nicer when they’re generated as part of a winning formula, Ehlers said.

"It’s obviously a great feeling to score and help the team win. I think we played a good game (but) the last period not great but it feels good to score again," said Ehlers, who last scored Dec. 19 in a win over Nashville when he potted a pair.

Winnipeg continues a three-game road trip Friday in Chicago and then heads to St. Paul, Minn., for a Saturday night battle with the Wild. The Jets’ league-mandated five-day break begins Sunday.

Meanwhile, the battle for goal-scoring supremacy in Winnipeg rages on.

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Winnipeg Jets goalie Steve Mason (35) makes a save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Winnipeg Jets goalie Steve Mason (35) makes a save during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

"We knew how many games we had without a goal," said Laine. "When we started to talk about it, both got goals. Maybe we should talk like that often."

Concerning, however, was the Jets’ third-period sag with a 6-2 lead, allowing the hosts to pull closer on goals by Jason Pominville and Jack Eichel, with his second of the game and 17th of the year. Ryan O’Reilly had the other Sabres tally, his 11th of the season.

"They forecheck hard. You give them time and space, they have skilled players who can make plays," said captain Blake Wheeler.

"After the game was 6-2, I didn’t like our game at all. There’s always something to get better at."

Mason finally got some goal production from his teammates. He hadn’t started since the host Islanders beat Winnipeg 5-2 on Dec. 23. Before that, the Jets were shut out 2-0 with him between the pipes Dec. 16.

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press</p><p>Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian (47) trips Winnipeg Jets forward Marko Dano (56) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.</p>

Jeffrey T. Barnes / The Associated Press

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian (47) trips Winnipeg Jets forward Marko Dano (56) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y.

"It was nice to get the goal support. That made it easy for me to settle back into a rhythm," said Mason, who is 3-6-1 in 10 starts.

"After not playing a whole lot, it’s kind of tough to find your groove but when you have that kind of goal support it allows you to be a little more calm back there and work your way back into the game.

"Even though there were four goals scored, I felt pretty strong back there. I just tried to come in and finally get a win. It’s been a while, so it’s nice to be part of a victory from the ice."

Both of Byfuglien’s goals this season have come against Buffalo. His first of the year — in his 30th game — came Friday at home.

Healthy scratches for the Jets were defenceman Ben Chiarot and winger Brendan Lemieux.

jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPJasonBell

Jason Bell

Jason Bell
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).

Read full biography

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 11:08 PM CST: Adds quotes.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.