WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Winnipeg’s 4-1 win over Calgary was a milestone victory for Connor Hellebuyck.
The 27-year-old Hellebuyck stopped 23 shots to lead the Jets past the Flames 4-1 on Thursday night. The win was the 153rd for the American goaltender and moved him past Ondrej Pavelec (152) for the most in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history.
“At this moment it means a lot,” said Hellebuyck, a 2012 fifth-round pick by Winnipeg. “I care a lot about this organization, they’ve given me my shot.
“I care a lot about the guys in front of me. It’s a testament to all the guys I’ve played with. It’s really exciting and I’m really glad I get to share it with these guys. A lot of these guys have been with me from the beginning. I’m looking forward to the future now.”
The 6-foot-4, 207-pound Hellebuyck is in his sixth season with the Jets. Last September, he captured the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
Hellebuyck had a chance to set the record Monday night, but Winnipeg dropped a 4-3 shootout loss to Calgary, an outcome that upset the goalie. Backup Laurent Brossoit was in goal for the Jets’ 3-2 victory over the Flames on Tuesday night.
“He’s a competitor, he wants to win every night and we appreciate that,” said Jets forward Adam Lowry said of Hellebuyck. “He’s the backbone of our team.
“To give him, not necessarily an easier night because he did make some big saves … when the game was tight but a game where he’s not having to face 35-40 shots it certainly, I think, makes life easier for a goalie. To see him get that franchise record, it’s certainly well earned.”
Mason Appleton scored two goals and Winnipeg won its second straight victory over the Flames.
Appleton’s second goal of the game, and third of the season, into the empty net at 18:38 of the third period sealed the win.
Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele also scored for Winnipeg, which outscored Calgary 3-0 in the second period. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 23 shots for his team-record 153rd career victory.
The Jets won 3-2 on Tuesday after Calgary earned a 4-3 shootout victory Monday.
Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary, who’ll face the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday before hosting Winnipeg on Tuesday night. The Jets are off until visiting the Flames.
NOTES: Flames forward Sam Bennett was a healthy scratch. On Saturday, his agent, Darren Ferris, said Bennett wants to be traded. Bennett, who has played both center and right wing over his six NHL seasons, has one assist this year. Calgary selected Bennett fourth overall in the 2014 entry draft. … Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau had his nine-game points streak snapped.
Flames: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Jets: Take on the Flames in Calgary on Tuesday after a four-day break.
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