WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)Mark Scheifele scored twice in Winnipeg’s four-goal second period, leading the Jets to a 5-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
Mason Appleton had a goal and two assists, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Saku Maenalanen also scored to help Winnipeg extend its point streak to seven games (6-0-1). Kyle Connor had three assists and Connor Hellebuyck made 22 saves.
”We’re just comfortable playing our game,” Scheifele said. ”We’re not sitting back on our heels, we’re playing on our toes, we’re making it hard on teams to make plays and make continuous passes. That comes with playing fast and having good sticks and trusting your teammates. I think we’ve done a really good job with that.”
The Jets have 17 points through 12 games for the best start in franchise history.
Jets coach Rick Bowness, who was behind the Dallas bench last season, likes the progress his new squad is making.
”I see a more confident team,” he said. ”They understand if they play the right way and do these things that we keep preaching, we’re going to have success.”
Jason Robertson scored for Dallas, extending his goal-scoring streak to six games, and Scott Wedgewood finished with 28 saves. The Stars snapped a three-game win streak.
Robertson opened scoring with his ninth goal of the season at 3:06 of the second off a pass from Roope Hintz. It gave Robertson 12 points (seven goals and five assists) during his scoring streak.
Hintz’s assist extended his point streak to six with 10 points (three goals, seven assists).
The Jets then took over with three goals in a 2:45 span.
”We had a really poor first period,” Dallas coach Pete DeBoer said. ”I thought we kind of regrouped at the beginning of the second, scored the first goal, started to play and then you know just some poor decisions and some poor execution for five or six minutes and we lost all our momentum.”
Scheifele’s first one came at 3:27 when he put the puck into an open side of the net after a quick pass from Appleton to tie the score.
Dubois made put Winnipeg ahead just 70 seconds later after a mistake by Wedgewood when the goalie went behind the net to retrieve the puck, but couldn’t handle it. A Stars defender got a stick on it, but the puck went to the front of the net and Dubois flipped it in at 4:37.
Scheifele got his eighth of the season and second of the game at 6:12.
Maenalanen capped the period’s scoring with his first with 1:46 left when he tipped in Neal Pionk’s point shot.
”I think that was terrible from us,” Stars defenseman Esa Lindell said. ”They played well, but I think that’s more on us.”
Dallas had the game’s first power play with 7:51 left in the third period, but couldn’t capitalize and took a penalty with 5 seconds remaining in the man advantage.
Appleton scored his first into a empty net with 2:58 left.
Robertson (23 years, 109 days) became the fifth player in franchise history to have a goal streak of at least six games before turning 24, and the second to do it since the Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. He joined Neal Broten (seven games in 1981-82), Jamie Benn (six in 2010-11), Mike Modano (six in 1991-92), and Danny Grant (six in 1969-70.
COMMISSIONER DROPS IN
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly met with Winnipeg media before the game and fielded questions on a wide range of topics, including the Jets’ attendance. The Jets have only sold out one game this season, against Toronto on Oct. 22 with 15,325 fans.
Bettman was reminded of a comment he made back in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers were bought and relocated to Winnipeg. At the time, he said ”it isn’t going to work very well unless this building is sold out every night.”
”I don’t think there’s an attendance issue,” Bettman said. ”We’re coming out of COVID. … Some teams are seeing a little bit of softness. Maybe it’s people’s reluctance to still go to crowds. Maybe it’s the economy. … I believe this building can be and will be full again.”
Stars: Host San Jose on Friday night before a three-game trip.
Jets: At Calgary on Saturday night in the opener of a two-game trip.
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