Hellebuyck makes 39 saves as Jets beat Sabres, 4-2 – Winnipeg IG News

Irshadgul News report,

You knew Connor Hellebuyck was going to make a comeback.

After allowing six goals in a loss on Tuesday night in Detroit, Hellebuyck split 39 shots as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Buffalo Sabers 4-2 on Thursday night in Western New York.

The Jets were outplayed and outshot 41–27, but Kyle Connor broke a 2–2 deadlock on a breakaway in the third period to lead the Jets to victory, while the Sabers suffered their third straight loss.

“If he got a chance, he wasn’t getting another rebound,” Connor said. “Obviously, yeah, it was a big goal. Any time you can capitalize on a breakaway chance like that late in the third, it’s huge.

The Jets certainly weren’t at their best for the second straight game, but a win is a win, and they’ll take the two points anyway they can get them.

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“Listen, this is an important win after the Detroit game,” said Jets head coach Rick Bowness. “We played a lot better in Detroit than we did tonight and lost, so it evens out.

“They beat us. This is the most likely we have given up in a long time. Turnover and poor coverage in our area, but again it was the same on this road trip.

“We found a way to get that goal, the third goal, but we have to play smarter than that. Listen, there is no sugar coating it.

Hellebuyck made countless big saves at crucial moments, including a puck that bounced around the crease before he snatched it from the goal line with his pads with two minutes remaining.

Hellebuyck said, “It was a good defense, but you know what, I thought there were three or four guys out there battling me.” “So, I was overconfident. I looked back and I caught a piece of it where it was going, and I knew exactly what to do, so, good thing it stayed out.”

With a goal and an assist, Connor extended his point streak to eight games.

It was Conner’s eighth game-winning goal to tie Leon Drailitz for the league lead.

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Connor said, “Game on the line and you get a little extra jump in your step.” “You want to be the difference maker. You want to score that big goal. I think you can say that for a lot of the boys in this room. I know I get up to it.

Morgan Barron missed the game with the flu, while David Gustafsson was also out on Thursday after being placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

Forwards Kevin Steinlund and Saku Mainlainen both returned to the lineup. Maanalainen sat out the last 16 games, while Steenlund returned after missing one game with illness.

Read more: Analysis: Jets’ winning streak a reminder of what it takes to be a great team

Hellebuyck’s team backed him up with some early runs at the 6:35 mark of the first. After the Sabers made the puck cold, the Jets won the faceoff and the puck made its way around Dylan Samberg, who scored his second career goal through a screen to open the scoring.

Thanks in large part due to the play of Hellebuyck, it remained a one-goal game well into the second period. But right after a Saber power play ended, Casey Mittelstedt found Viktor Olofsson in the slot and Sweden made no mistake, evening the score.

Buffalo was leading the play up to that point in that period, but after one more piece, the Jets again made the Sabers pay. Josh Morrissey beat Ukko-Pekka Lukkonen with a well-placed shot from the point to put Winnipeg in front on 40 minutes.

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That lead disappeared less than three minutes into the third. Olofsson threw a spectacular spinning pass to Tyson Jost, who beat Hellebuyck from point-blank range to tie the game.

This began a long stretch of very entertaining play without a single whistle as both sides had several scoring chances. Blake Wheeler had Winnipeg’s best chance but was denied by Lukkonen at close range, while Hellebuyck had to make several spectacular saves.

It all ended with a Connor breakaway and the Jets’ sniper made no mistake, showing off his great hands by making his way around the Sabers’ netminder to put Winnipeg ahead at the 7:19 mark.

Buffalo did their best to try and find another equalizer but Hellebuyck would not be beaten again. Carson Kuhlmann’s first jet into an empty net sealed the deal with 43 seconds remaining.

Hellebuyck was named the first star of the game as he improved to 8–3 on the season following the loss or overtime loss, while Connor’s goal was his 42nd career game-winning goal, the most he recently scored. Made on franchise records.

Read more: Jets can’t mount full comeback in 7-5 loss at Detroit

The Jets will look to end a three-game road swing with a win on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Pregame coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET on 680 CJOB and follows the puck drop at 6 p.m.

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