December 9, 2018

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Connor scores in third straight game, Jets defeat Kings 2-1

WINNIPEG - Connor Hellebuyck didn't have to work too hard to earn a win Tuesday night.

The Winnipeg Jets goalie only had to make 16 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

"The guys were really good in front of me so I could just enjoy the game," Hellebuyck said.

Winnipeg (2-1-0) outshot the Kings 39-17, with Kyle Connor scoring for a third straight game and Mark Scheifele adding the other goal.

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Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Los Angeles Kings' goaltender Jack Campbell (36) with Alec Martinez (27) in front of the net during second period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Tuesday, October 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan

Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor (81) scores on Los Angeles Kings' goaltender Jack Campbell (36) with Alec Martinez (27) in front of the net during second period NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Tuesday, October 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan

WINNIPEG - Connor Hellebuyck didn't have to work too hard to earn a win Tuesday night.

The Winnipeg Jets goalie only had to make 16 saves in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

"The guys were really good in front of me so I could just enjoy the game," Hellebuyck said.

Winnipeg (2-1-0) outshot the Kings 39-17, with Kyle Connor scoring for a third straight game and Mark Scheifele adding the other goal.

Connor said he views the goal streak the same way he approaches every game.

"Trying not (to get) too high or too low throughout the season," the sophomore winger said. "It's a long season here. But playing with confidence is a big thing for me."

Jack Campbell, replacing injured starter Jonathan Quick, stopped 37 shots in his ninth career NHL game.

Quick suffered a lower-body injury during practice last Saturday. Campbell got the nod Sunday and backstopped the Kings to a 4-2 win over Detroit.

"(Campbell) comes in tough spots and the team doesn't play well in front of you, but he still gives you a chance to get a point at the end of the day so it's terrific," Kings head coach John Stevens said.

"But you can't play the game on your heels. You just sit back and let a team come at you, they're going to make you play in your end a lot."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal for the Kings (1-1-1) and the 418th of his NHL career. He left the league five years ago to play professionally in Russia, but signed a three-year deal with the Kings in June.

"I prefer to win than score goals," Kovalchuk said. "It wasn't enough so we will be better next game."

The 35-year-old got behind Winnipeg's defencemen, skated to the net and redirected a Drew Doughty pass into the net at 6:26 of the opening period.

The Jets tied it up four minutes later when forward Brandon Tanev spun away from a defender along the boards and sent a quick pass to the slot for Scheifele's first goal of the season at 10:59.

Winnipeg outshot the visitors 10-4 and had one power play in the first period.

The Jets had almost back-to-back power plays near the midway point of the second period and were successful on the second one when Connor poked the puck in with his stick after a Blake Wheeler shot went off Campbell and began heading toward the goal line at 10:21.

Winnipeg's shot advantage in the second was 19-5.

Los Angeles had its first power play of the game midway through the third, but Hellebuyck made a big save and then got a piece of another shot that hit the crossbar.

Winnipeg defenceman Tyler Myers was called for high-sticking with 3:02 remaining. Campbell went to the bench with about 90 seconds left to make it six on four, but couldn't convert with the advantage.

The Jets travel to Nashville for a game Thursday, while the Kings play the second game of their four-game road trip in Montreal the same night.

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