Jets hammer Penguins, 7-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Blake Wheeler scored three of Winnipeg’s five goals in the first period and the Jets routed the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-1 on Sunday night.
Brendan Lemieux scored his first career goal for Winnipeg on a slap shot from the point at 12:20 of the third. The son of Claude Lemieux made his NHL debut Oct. 20.
Andrew Copp, Joel Armia and Mark Scheifele also scored for the Jets, who chased Matt Murray early. Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves.
Winnipeg (5-3-2) scored three times in a span of 34 seconds late in the first to break it open against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Penguins (7-5-1), playing back-to-back road games after losing 2-1 in Minnesota on Saturday, were on their heels from the start and didn’t score until Evgeni Malkin’s fifth of the season late in the second period.
Pittsburgh has been outscored 21-10 in the opening 20 minutes this season.
The Jets have played their best hockey this season in the opening period, outscoring their opponents 16-8.
Copp opened the scoring with his first of the season on a short pass in the slot from linemate Sean Matthias at 1:20.
The Jets remained on the attack but Murray stymied them until 13:58, when Scheifele fed Wheeler at the side of the net for his second goal of the season.
He added another at 17:44 and Murray barely had time to take his stance again before Armia made it 4-0 at 18:07. Murray was pulled and lost in regulation for the second time this season.
The hats rained down 11 seconds after that when Wheeler made it 5-0 at 18:18 with a goal against Murray’s replacement, Casey DeSmith.
The Jets lost 2-1 in overtime Thursday at Pittsburgh, one of two overtime losses for them this week following a win at Minnesota.
Winnipeg returned to Hellebuyck’s hot hand in goal. He has all five Jets wins this season.
Pittsburgh tried to regroup in the second period and outshot the Jets 15-4, thanks partly to a string of minor penalties on Winnipeg. But the Penguins not get one past Hellebuyck until Malkin scored his power-play goal at 17:02.
Scheifele scored in the third when he one-timed a pass from Wheeler during a 4-on-3 power play at 10:28 to make it 6-1. Lemieux’s goal about two minutes later completed the scoring.