The Winnipeg Jets were feeling the pressure entering their divisional game against the Dallas Stars on Sunday, and they made no mistake, ending their six-game winless streak with a 7-2 victory.
After the Stars hemmed the Jets into their own zone during the first shift, Jacob Trouba set the MTS Centre on fire with his eighth goal of the season, opening the scoring on the first shot of the game. Suddenly, the game was all Winnipeg.
Alex Chaisson evened the score, and 37 seconds later, Tyler Seguin scored his 30th goal to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. After Michael Frolik tied the game once again, Toby Enstrom capped off the scoring frenzy, giving the Jets the lead once again. The five-goal period ended with the Jets leading 16-10 in shots, when they once trailed the Stars 6-2.
The Jets played one of their best home periods in the second, bookmarking the frame with a goal just 29 seconds in by Olli Jokinen, and a power-play blast from Dustin Byfuglien with three minutes remaining in the frame.
The Jets had total control for most of the period, and Montoya was strong, to keep the Stars at two goals. The Jets extended their shots lead to 24-13, allowing only three shots in the frame.
The Jets did not lay off the gas pedal one bit entering the third period. After sustaining pressure early, Dustin Byfuglien potted his second straight goal, and Evander Kane ended his 11-game goalless drought with the Jets’ seventh goal of the game.
It was smooth sailing from that point on, as the Jets stayed away from the Stars’ chippy play, and cruised to the 7-2 victory.
Patrice Cormier, who was recalled by the Jets early on Sunday, notched an assist on Frolik’s first-period goal, and finished with of ice time. The Jets’ seven goals was the most since 2013, when they defeated the Florida Panthers by a score of 7-2. It was the 25th time in franchise history that the team scored 7+ goals.
It wasn’t all good news for the Jets, as Byfuglien suffered a lower-body injury during the third period, and did not return to the game.
The Jets scored three goals in the first period for the first time this season at home, and now have a 16-14-6 home record.
Blake Wheeler may not have scored a goal, but his four assists tied a career-high mark set back in 2010.
Tim Thomas was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots, in favour of rookie Christopher Nilstorp, who allowed three goals on 17 shots as well. Al Montoya earned his fifth home win of the season with a 25-save effort.
The Jets hit the tarmac and take off towards Missouri, where a date with the St. Louis Blues awaits on Monday night. The Stars take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.
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