WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves and Paul Stastny, Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler scored second-period goals to help the Winnipeg Jets beat the Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Thursday night.
Stastny, Ehlers and Wheeler scored after Hellebuyck stopped 18 shots in a scoreless first period. The Jets improved to 4-0 this season against Ottawa, with the teams set to square off again Saturday night.
“I got into a rhythm, I got into it early,” Hellebuyck said. “The guys were keeping them to the outside allowing me to see a lot of the shots, which is great for my position.
“They got a lot of shots but I thought we controlled where they were coming from and we handled the rebounds . . . so yeah they got a big number there but I felt like our team kind of controlled it well.”
Mathieu Perreault and Neal Pionk also scored for Winnipeg.
“You need to watch Ottawa play regularly to fully appreciate their game,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “They play real hard, real fast and they’re a good team, they’re a tough out. So you have to stay in the game, you have to stay in the fight. Our goaltender was outstanding in the first period and we weren’t and then we got better.”
Josh Norris scored for Ottawa.
Ottawa defenseman Artem Zub was out for “precautionary reasons” after an inconclusive COVID-19 test. The Senators said prior to the game that Zub’s inconclusive test result came back Thursday after he tested negative Wednesday. Josh Brown dressed in Zub’s place.
The Jets opened the scoring eight seconds into the second on Stastny’s third of the season.
Ehlers gave Winnipeg a 2-0 advantage with his first ninth of the year. He deflected Dylan DeMelo’s blast from the point past goalie Matt Murray at 7:53. DeMelo was originally credited with the goal before an official scoring change.
Wheeler made it 3-0 with an unassisted power-play goal with 26 seconds left in the period.