Home » The Canadian Press » Hellebuyck Helps Jets Soar Past Capitals 3-0

Hellebuyck Helps Jets Soar Past Capitals 3-0

March 11, 2024 9:23 PM | The Canadian Press


By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Adam Lowry was confident some extra studying was going to pay off. The Jets captain was correct.

Connor Hellebuyck registered his 30th win for Winnipeg this season with a 23-save performance in a 3-0 shutout of the Washington Capitals on Monday.

The victory was a rebound from Winnipeg’s 5-0 loss to Vancouver on Saturday that Jets head coach Rick Bowness described as the worst game “by far” the team had played in his two-year tenure.

“Extremely confident,” Lowry said of bouncing back. “We talked about the game (against the Canucks), we watched some clips and saw areas that we could clean up.

“We got off to a better start. We really fell behind the 8-ball against Vancouver.”

Hellebuyck (30-14-3) became the fourth NHL goalie this season to reach the 30-win mark. It was the fifth time in his career.

The victory was the veteran netminder’s fourth shutout of the season and 36th of his career.

“As the game went on, we just kept chipping away and posing our style, as opposed to trying to play theirs,” Lowry said. “When you do that, good things happen. Helle was great back there.”

Neal Pionk, Alex Iafallo and Kyle Connor scored for the Jets (41-18-5), who began a three-game homestand in front of 13,716 fans at Canada Life Centre and are 8-3-0 in their past 11 games and 4-2-0 in the past six.

“Give the guys credit. They weren’t very happy with our game in Vancouver,” Bowness said. “They knew they had to bounce back, and they did. It was a solid team effort tonight. That’s what it takes.”

Charlie Lindgren stopped 26 shots for Washington (30-24-9), which began a five-game road trip and is 3-3 in its past six games and 7-3-1 in the last 11.

“Just right from the start, it just felt like, (to) me, when I was standing there watching, it was just bigger, faster, stronger,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said of the Jets.

“Every facet, they just were. So you’ve got to tip your cap, that’s a really good team that just got better with (Tyler) Toffoli and (Sean) Monahan and those guys.”

Toffoli and Colin Miller were cheered loudly when they were welcomed by the rink announcer and shown on the Jumbotron during their debut. The former New Jersey players were traded to Winnipeg last Friday in separate deals for draft picks.

Toffoli was slotted on Winnipeg’s second line on the right side of Monahan and winger Iafallo. Miller was paired with defenceman Dylan Samberg.

Winnipeg led 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 following the second.

The Jets were outshooting the visitors 7-1 after the first five minutes and it was 12-5 when the opening frame ended.

Pionk scored his fifth goal of the season at 10:05 after taking a cross-ice pass from Mason Appleton as he rushed the net.

“They came out of the gates hot,” Washington forward Dylan Strome said of the Jets. “Obviously with, I think, a frustrating game for them in Vancouver, so we expected a response.

“They came out flying, they were all over us. I don’t think we managed that pressure too well.”

Winnipeg is 27-3-1 after scoring first this season.

After Jets Nikolaj Ehlers and Cole Perfetti hit the posts early in the second, Iafallo made it 2-0 at 8:16.

Defenceman Josh Morrissey was skating across the ice inside the blue line, but suddenly turned and fired the puck at the net and it glanced off Iafallo past Lindgren.

The Capitals outshot the Jets 11-8 in the middle period, closing the shot gap to 20-16.

The game’s first power play went to Washington six minutes into the third when new-guy Miller was called for slashing.

Hellebuyck made a snapping glove save on Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals only got two shots on goal. Washington had scored with the man advantage in seven straight games and 10 of its last 11.

Connor scored his team-leading 27th goal of the season after redirecting a pass from Mark Scheifele at the 10-minute mark.

NOTES 

The Jets played without forward Gabe Vilardi for a sixth straight game due to his upper-body injury. … T.J. Oshie returned for the Capitals after being taken off the injured-reserve list following a seven-game absence (upper-body injury). Tom Wilson was out. … The Jets are 22-8-2 at home this season, including 16-3-1 in their past 20.

UP NEXT

Jets: Host the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

Capitals: Visit the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

CP - The Canadian Press


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