Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and pair of assists each as the Winnipeg Jets routed the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Saturday.
Making his 10th straight start, Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck almost had a shutout until Gabriel Landeskog scored with 15.4 seconds left in the game. He had 22 saves a day after he had a 29-save shutout against the St. Louis Blues.
Calvin Pickard was pulled from the Avalanche net after letting in five goals on 20 shots by 9:05 in the second period. He was replaced by Jeremy Smith, who stopped 10 shots for the visitors (17-43-3). Winnipeg’s top guns hit the back of the net early and often.
Patrik Laine scored his rookie-leading 32nd goal, Mark Scheifele his 27th, Ehlers notched his 21st and Wheeler his 20th.
Winnipeg defencemen Ben Chiarot tallied his first goal of the season in his 53rd game and Jacob Trouba his sixth marker for the Jets (30-30-6).
Laine added an assist and Dustin Byfuglien a pair of helpers. The Jets had a 3-0 lead after the first period and stretched it to 5-0 at 9:05 of the second, which signalled the end of Pickard’s night.
Winnipeg has scored three or more goals in each of its last eight games and are 5-1-2 during that span.
Winnipeg’s 66 points moved it two points behind the Los Angeles Kings, who held the second NHL Western Conference wild-card spot but were hosting Vancouver on Saturday. The idle St. Louis Blues have 67 points.
Laine opened the game’s scoring at 4:22 of the first period when he had the puck in Colorado’s zone, circled around untouched and then fired a slap shot that went high over Pickard’s glove.
Wheeler and Scheifele made it 3-0 at 10:02 after scoring 15 seconds apart.
Wheeler’s was a power-play goal over Pickard’s glove side again, while Scheifele took a fast feed from Laine and had an open side of the net to aim at.
The Jets had a chance to extend the lead with a two-man advantage for 1:44 late in the opening period, but came up zip.
Laine took a tripping penalty with seven seconds left in the period, which Winnipeg led in shots on goal 14-3.
Jets forward Shawn Matthais was also tagged for tripping early in the second to give Colorado a 14-second two-man advantage, but the Avs came up empty.
Chiarot’s backhand shot at 7:03 made it 4-0 and Ehlers scored his goal with a tap in off a Wheeler pass 2:02 later to send Pickard out of the pipes.
Trouba scored at 13:54 of the third period after his blast went off the back of the glass and he slapped in the rebound.
Winnipeg hosts the San Jose Sharks on Monday in the fourth game of a six-game homestand (2-1). Colorado ended a three-game road trip without a victory and heads home for a game Sunday against St. Louis.Report Typo/Error