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Jets prove resilience with bounce back victory over Vancouver

"We want to be that team who never loses two in a row." -Perreault

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - The game following a loss always seems to bring out the best in the Winnipeg Jets.

Tuesday night's home stand finale was just the latest example.

Five different players found the back of the net as the Jets avenged Monday's loss to the Vancouver Canucks (9-15-2) with a 5-2 victory on Tuesday to improve to 14-7-1 on the season.

They're now 6-0-1 following a regulation loss this season.

"It's the mindset. Something we talked about before the game," said Mathieu Perreault. "We want to be that team who never loses two in a row. You've got to get this done every time you lose a game and it's just the kind of attitude that we've had so far this year."

Blake Wheeler and Kyle Connor each had a goal and two assists, while Mark Scheifele had three helpers of his own to help the Jets close out the home stand with three wins in four games.

Video: VAN@WPG: Connor goes five-hole on Holtby for PPG

Perreault, Mason Appleton, and Paul Stastny rounded out the Jets offence. In total, Winnipeg fired a season-high 39 shots on goal, outshooting Vancouver in the second and third periods.

It was the more direct kind of offence Jets head coach Paul Maurice wanted to see from his team after they were shutout for the first time on Monday.

"We made plays, but we also grunted some work to the offensive game," said Maurice. "We had chaos created around the net that we recovered and then it sped our game up. So now I think a big chunk of the quality of our defensive game comes off that, our gap is right from the offensive mindset."

Video: VAN@WPG: Appleton jams home rebound for opening goal

The first example of that offence came on the game's opening goal. Connor's shot from the left wing was deflected by Adam Lowry in front of Braden Holtby, who made the initial save, but Mason Appleton charged the net from the right side and buried the rebound.

It was Appleton's sixth of the season, which sets a new career-high in a season that has already seen him establish new career bests in assists and points.

"I'm still a young player in this league; my opportunity's here and I'm trying to take advantage of it every night," said Appleton. "I'm playing more minutes and that gives me more confidence and lets my game evolve. You don't just get bigger, faster, stronger overnight. It's a product of years and a product of opportunity."

Video: VAN@WPG: Perreault lifts backhander past Holtby

Vancouver tied the game 3:15 later, as Elias Pettersson snapped his 10th of the season into the top corner past Laurent Brossoit.

It was the first goal Brossoit had allowed against the Canucks since Apr. 9, 2017.

He finished the night with 31 saves and is now 4-1-0 this season.

"I don't want to get too confident, too cocky. It's the best league in the world and there's great players out there, so I like to keep myself pretty grounded and realistic," said Brossoit. "I just prepare as best I can and hope that my best is better than anyone else in the league."

Video: VAN@WPG: Stastny finishes off Wheeler's feed

Winnipeg restored the lead in the final seconds of the first period. With 2.6 seconds left, Perreault found open space in front of Holtby off the rush and lifted a backhand past the Canucks goaltender's blocker, giving the Jets a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

"I was able to jump on it and fire it on net as quick as I can as I figured there wasn't much time left," Perreault said of his fourth goal of the season. "

The home side built that lead to 3-1 when Connor netted his 11th of the campaign 5:04 into the second period. The marker came on the power play after Wheeler threaded a perfect pass through a Canucks defender who had dropped to the ice to defend that very play.

That wasn't the only power play goal of the period though, as J.T. Miller's one-timer from the right circle beat Brossoit with a shade under five seconds remaining in the middle frame to pull Vancouver back within one.

Video: VAN@WPG: Wheeler buries empty-netter

The Jets weren't deterred by that goal though. In fact, Maurice felt it might have been the team's best period of the season so far.

"We didn't lose confidence with that goal, like 'oh my god, the game is going to shift the other way.' It was right; we'll just keep playing the way we were playing," Maurice said. "It's kind of a bit of a theme with this group. They understand what they see on the ice. So we played a really strong second period and that goal had nothing to do with how good our period was. So it just kind of continued."

In the third, the Jets restored the two-goal cushion with Stastny's fifth of the campaign. After the veteran forward narrowly missed an opportunity seconds earlier, Wheeler sent a perfect no-look backhand pass to the slot, right where Stastny was waiting to put it home.

Wheeler finished the night with the empty net goal with 2:10 left in regulation.

With goals from three of the four lines at five-on-five, it was just the type of effort the Jets needed heading into a five-game road trip that begins Thursday night in Montreal.

"This is the feeling that we want to keep around this locker room," said Perreault, noting the team is now second in the North Division behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, who they'll play three times on the trip. "It's nice to be sitting there right now and going on the road and hopefully we can keep going up."

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