Kyle Connor extended his point streak with a goal and an assist and the Winnipeg Jets downed the host Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Saturday.
Sam Gagner also scored and had a helper for the Jets (20-9-1), while Kyle Capobianco, Neal Pionk and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby all added goals. Pierre-Luc Dubois contributed three assists.
Bo Horvat replied for Vancouver with a power-play marker midway through the third period.
Winnipeg netminder Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves and improved to 16-7-1 on the season.
Spencer Martin stopped 22-of-27 shots for the Canucks (13-14-3), who have yet to climb over the .500 bar in the 2022-23 campaign.
Both sides were missing key pieces. Vancouver forwards Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser have been sidelined by a non-COVID illness and Winnipeg is without right-winger Blake Wheeler (lower-body) and defenceman Nate Schmidt (upper-body) until the new year.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) December 18, 2022
A sizable contingent of Jets fans in the crowd cheered as the final buzzer went, drowning out a smattering of boos from frustrated Canucks fans.
Vancouver finally got on the board after Winnipeg’s Dylan DeMelo was called for holding 14:28 into the third period.
Seconds into the man advantage, Horvat tipped a Quinn Hughes’ shot in past Hellebuyck from the middle of the slot
The Canucks were 1-for-3 on the power play Saturday and Winnipeg went 1-for-2.
The Jets took a three-goal lead into the third period Saturday and refused to relent.
Gagner scored 56 seconds into the final frame, collecting a pass across the slot from Dubois and firing it in for his fifth goal of the year.
Jonsson-Fjallby followed, sending a wrist shot past Martin from the faceoff circle at the 7:59 mark to put the visitors up 5-0.
Winnipeg jumped out to a 3-0 lead midway through the second when Pionk fired a slap shot past Martin from inside the blue line for his fifth goal of the season.
Capobianco scored from a similar spot 5:30 into the middle frame. His blast sailed through traffic and in over Martin’s glove to put the Jets up 2-0.
The goal was Capobianco’s first of the season, coming in his fourth game of the year.
Connor opened the scoring 2:51 into the game, sending a wrist shot past Martin from the hash marks on a power play.
The goal, his 13th of the season, extended Connor’s point streak to eight games with five goals and eight assists across the stretch.
Josh Morrissey notched an assist — and his 200th NHL point — on the play. He, too, is on an eight-game point streak with nine helpers.
INS AND OUTS
Jets coach Rick Bowness said Saturday that his team will be without Wheeler for about four weeks and Schmidt for four-to-six weeks. Winnipeg has placed Schmidt on injured reserve. The team has called up defenceman Ville Heinola from the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose on an emergency basis.
With Pettersson and Boeser out of the lineup, Vancouver called Lane Pederson up from the Abbotsford Canucks on Friday.
HOME ICE ADVANTAGE?
The Canucks have been shut out twice in a row at Rogers Arena and boast a 5-8-1 home record. The squad has gone 8-6-2 in a road and are on a six-game win streak outside of Vancouver.
Jets: Wrap a two-game road swing Sunday against the Kraken in Seattle.
Canucks: Continue three-game homestand Monday when they host the St. Louis Blues.
Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press