WINNIPEG - Opening night was only 17-days ago, but Connor Hellebuyck has put that start behind him.
Hellebuyck made 28 saves Sunday night for his 15th career shutout in a 1-0 Winnipeg win over one of the hottest teams in hockey, the Edmonton Oilers.
"I thought we played great. I thought the guys in front of me kept everything to the outside," said Hellebuyck who is now two shutouts from tying Ondrej Pavelec for the all-time franchise lead.
"They really controlled the shots and drove the pace the entire game."
Video: POSTGAME | Connor Hellebuyck
Hellebuyck has allowed two goals or fewer in five of his last six starts and was dialed in especially in overtime when Connor McDavid barreled in on a partial breakaway.
Video: EDM@WPG: Hellebuyck turns away McDavid in overtime
"Yeah absolutely I'm going to enjoy this one," said Hellebuyck.
"You don't get too many shutouts; I'll enjoy this one. But I've got to come to the rink the next day and work hard and remember what it took to earn this one."
The Jets much maligned penalty kill also came up big on this night closing the door on two Oiler man advantages and only allowed two shots on Hellebuyck. Edmonton came into the night leading the league in power play efficiency at 41.7%.
"I thought we had a lot of energy and a little bit of attitude," said Hellebuyck.
"I think we're sick of getting scored on and it showed."
It's fitting that the 26-year-old and the Jets locked things down to give Paul Maurice his 700th career win. Maurice and the coaching staff have been focused on becoming a much better defensive team since the beginning of training camp.
Since the Jets lost a week ago 7-2 at home to the Penguins, the defensive improvements have been noticeable. On a night where Hellebuyck gets the 1-0 win it was arguably Winnipeg's best effort in their own end of the season.
"Later in the second period and then in overtime again not easy saves to make," said Maurice.
"There is good shooters with the puck on their stick as (Oilers goaltender) Mike Smith did as well."