Scheifele, Hellebuyck lead Jets to 4-0 win over Blues
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Mark Scheifele scored in the second period and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots for his first shutout of the season as the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues 4-0 on Monday night.
Sam Gagner, Morgan Barron and Cole Perfetti scored in the third period and Josh Morrissey had two assists for the Jets, who were without coach Rick Bowness due to an illness.
“Tonight was good for our team to play the way we did against a very, very good hockey team,” Scheifele said. “Just getting used to it and getting used to each other and used to guys’ routes. That was a pretty solid win.”
Hellebuyck, who got his 29th career shutout, was also pleased with the effort.
“It felt great,” he said. “Felt like it was a step in the right direction. We know we have it in this room and we needed to show it for 60 minutes. Now that we have, now we have something to build on.”
Thomas Greiss had 41 saves for the Blues.
The Jets opened the scoring midway through the second period. Scheifele stopped a point shot from Morrissey in front of Greiss, deked around the goalie and slid the puck into the empty net with 9 1/2 minutes remaining.
Greiss had to be quick to stop a wrister from Perfetti, then stopped Connor on a breakaway to keep it a one-goal game. Scheifele also hit a goal post as Winnipeg outshot the Blues 9-5 in the middle period.
Greiss kept his team in contention early in the third period. He stopped forward Axel Jonsson Fjalby from point-blank range. He then stopped Perfetti on the doorstep and Kyle Connor, who fired a wrist shot from alone in front.
“Greiss was great for us tonight,” Blues forward Brayden Schenn said. “He made a lot of great saves for us and we’ve got to be better in front of him.”
Winnipeg took a 2-0 lead with 9:22 left as Gagner took a pass from Connor from behind the net and beat Greiss with a slap shot.
The Jets increased the lead to 3-0 with 6:17 remaining when Barron converted a pass from behind the net from Lowry.
Perfetti capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 1:34 remaining.
There was no scoring in the first but both goalies had to be sharp as they each made 13 saves. Hellebuyck twice stopped Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly on the doorstep on the same power play. Hellebuyck also stopped Vladimir Tarasenko from point-blank range.
Greiss came up big on dangerous shots from Barron and defenseman Neal Pionk.
Early in the second, the Jets misfired on several shots while on the power play. Greiss did make a great save on Pierre-Luc Dubois during that man advantage.
Bowness, who just recently returned from a bout with COVID-19, cut a media availability short after the morning practice due to dizzy spells and was advised to rest.
“I’m sure (Bowness) was happy watching that one,” Scheifele said. “Hopefully, that picks his spirits up. You just hope and pray for him to feel better and better. That’s really all we can do. Obviously, our trainers and doctors are on it to make sure he comes out of this thing healthy and stronger.”
Associate coach Scott Arniel replaced Bowness behind the bench Monday. Bowness has only been behind the bench for one of six regular-season games since he was hired. That was a loss to Toronto on Saturday.
Blues: Host Edmonton on Wednesday night.
Jets: At Los Angeles on Thursday night to open a three-game trip.
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