Mark Scheifele broke a 12-game scoring drought with a three-goal night, leading the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-1 win over the host Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The Jets got a good start to an Eastern road swing of four games in six days, stopping the Senators’ mini win streak at two games.
Winnipeg earned its third consecutive victory. Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg, Nikolaj Ehlers also scored, and Scheifele added an assist.
Laurent Brossoit made 29 saves for the win. Nick Paul scored, and Marcus Hogberg stopped 29 shots for Ottawa. The Senators, having just shipped defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the Jets, sat Vladislav Namestnikov, a sure sign the 27-year-old forward will be traded in the next couple of days. Center Jean-Gabriel Pageau is also rumored to be fuel in a potential Senators fire sale before the NHL trade deadline on Monday.
After ringing two shots off the post early in the game, the Senators took a 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first period. Colin White won a faceoff in the Jets’ end and dished the puck over to Paul, who skated unchecked through the slot and lifted a wrister over Brossoit’s trapper. Then the Senators ran into penalty trouble, and the Jets capitalized. Chris Tierney was whistled for hooking DeMelo, and Scheifele got his first opportunity. Connor’s shot was stick-checked by Nikita Zaitsev, and the puck bounced onto Scheifele’s stick.
Scheifele tied the game at 16:35 of the first period. A little more than a minute later, the Jets were back on the power play when Jayce Hawryluk got called for high-sticking. Jets blueliner Neal Pionk took a shot from the point, and Scheifele was waiting in front of the Senators’ net to knock it down and fool Hogberg for a 2-1 lead.
The Jets kept pounding at the Senators in the second period with a goal each from Connor (at 4:52) and Ehlers (at 5:54).Connor’s goal was his 30th of the season, marking the third straight year the 23-year-old from Michigan hit the milestone. Scheifele waited until late in the third to bag his hat-trick goal. With just a minute and a half left, he wired a shot through traffic. The puck bounced off the leg of Senators defender Andreas Englund and into the net.
Kings hand Panthers
first loss of road trip
Gabriel Vilardi arrived with some flair, scoring the fastest goal of a debut in NHL history and adding an assist as the Los Angeles Kings earned a 5-4 victory on Thursday over the visiting Florida Panthers. Ben Hutton scored the go-ahead goal at 12:45 of the third period as the Kings won for the third time in their last four games. Drew Doughty, Trevor Moore and Martin Frk also scored goals for the Kings, whose rebuild is under way after two key trades this week.
Aleksander Barkov scored two goals and Jonathan Huberdeau delivered a career-best four-point game for the Panthers, who are now 2-1 at the start of a key five-game West Coast trip that has come on the heels of a 2-6-1 record immediately after the All-Star break.
Florida started the trip with victories at San Jose and Anaheim, defeating the Ducks 4-1 on Wednesday.
Vilardi, the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft by the Kings, scored 6.8 seconds into his first career shift early in the opening period.
The quick debut goal was nearly 10 seconds faster than Gus Bodnar for the 1943 Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vilardi added an assist from behind the goal on a second-period score from Frk that gave the Kings a brief 4-3 lead.
Los Angeles traded defenseman Alec Martinez and forward Tyler Toffoli amid a season when they are 22-34-5 and last in the Western Conference.
Moore, from nearby Thousand Oaks, became just the second California native to score a home goal for the Kings after Noah Clarke in 2007.
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