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Winnipeg Jets regain top spot with weekend sweep of Canucks and Flames

Winnipeg Jets regain top spot with weekend sweep of Canucks and Flames


The Winnipeg Jets came out of their bye week with a pair of strong defensive efforts, including a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks at Bell MTS Place on Sunday Night.

Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, after allowing just one goal on 31 shots in the Jets 2-1 shootout victory at Calgary the day before.

There were some anxious moments when Hellebuyck took an inadvertent  stick in the eye from team mate Josh Morrissey late in the game when the Winnipeg defenceman was battling in the crease with Canucks forward Thomas Vanek.

The all star netminder is now second in the league with 25 wins, and tied for second in shutouts while ranking near the top among NHL starting goalies with a 2.29 goals against average and .925 saves percentage.

Patrik Laine scored his team leading 21st goal of the season off a perfect behind the net feed from Blake Wheeler midway through the first period. That was the only puck to get past Vancouver’s Anders Nilsson who suffered his sixth consecutive loss despite making 35 saves.

The Jets improved to 17-3-1 at home and 28-13-7 overall to move a point ahead of idle Nashville and into first place in the Central Division. The Predators have played three fewer games than Winnipeg who visit San Jose on Tuesday and Anaheim Thursday before returning for the start of a 10 game home stand, beginning a week from tomorrow versus the Vegas Golden Knights.