WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck made 42 saves, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Nikolaj Ehlers and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg (30-24-10). Pierre-Luc Dubois and Neal Pionk also scored, and Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had two assists.
Hellebuyck’s fourth shutout of the season and No. 28 for his career helped the Jets stay in the race for a wild card in the Western Conference.
“We were always in the mix, but now we’re really in the mix,” Hellebuyck said.
“It’s not how we want to play, but wins at this point are huge, and can continue building and get some momentum off of it.”
The Dallas Stars hold the second wild-card spot with 73 points after a 5-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Vegas has 72 points and Winnipeg 70. The Stars have four games in hand over the Golden Knights and two on the Jets.
“How many games we got left? 18 now?” Hellebuyck asked reporters after the game. “Shoot, we need to win maybe three quarters of those because when teams see us coming, they are going to step on the gas, too.”
The injury-riddled Golden Knights dropped to 34-28-4. They extended their road skid to seven games and two shutouts in a row.
Playing in back-to-back games, Logan Thompson stopped 22 shots for Vegas. He was also in net for Monday night’s 3-0 loss at Minnesota.
“He’s been playing well. I think that’s the bottom line,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said of giving Thompson the nod.
The Jets opened a four-game homestand and a stretch of six games in 10 days.
The Jets struggled in the first period, but went ahead to stay when Dubois scored his 25th goal of the season on a rebound 6:16 into the second.
Scheifele deflected in an Ehlers’ shot to make it 2-0 at 15:14.
“Not getting out of that first period with a goal I think really hurt us,” DeBoer said. “I thought we did everything right, but you’ve got to score to win games in this league and we didn’t score on this trip.”
Hellebuyck delivered again in the third, stopping early prime scoring chances by Dylan Coghlan at even strength and then Chandler Stephenson on the power play.
Pionk notched his third goal of the season with a one-timer at 11:06, and Ehlers contributed his 19th at 13:51.
Ehlers has a goal in five straight games. He is on a six-game point run with five goals and three assists.
Winnipeg won the season series between the clubs 3-0.
“We’ve been trailing all our games for the past month and a half almost now,” Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “It’s kind of hard on the body. Definitely more exhausting.
“We’ve got to find a way to get the first few ones here.”
Newly acquired Jets forwards Mason Appleton (Seattle) and Zach Sanford (Ottawa) suited up, playing the wings with Stastny on the third line.
The Jets went 1 for 2 with the man advantage. The Golden Knights failed to score on three power plays. … Connor extended his career-high point streak to eight games, with six goals and 11 assists across the stretch.
Golden Knights: Host Nashville on Thursday in the first of a two-game homestand.
Jets: Host Ottawa on Thursday.
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