Jets score early and often in big win over Anaheim
Roslovic records first NHL hat trick; Jets win seventh straight on home iceby Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com
WINNIPEG - It was a record-breaking Saturday night at Bell MTS Place for the Winnipeg Jets.
The 9-3 romp over the Anaheim Ducks set a new franchise record for goals in a game on home ice - while also tying the franchise record for goals in a game. In addition, the six goals they scored in the opening period set a new franchise mark for goals in a period.
Along the way, Jack Roslovic recorded his first career hat trick with three power play goals.
"It felt good. I'm not a big goal scorer," Roslovic said. "I haven't had a hat trick in a while. To get one in the NHL, it's pretty nice."
Video: ANA@WPG: Roslovic tallies three PPGs for hat trick
Roslovic now has four of Winnipeg's seven power play goals since the end of the player break. What makes Roslovic's hat trick even more interesting was the fact he left the morning skate early with cramping and was a game-time decision.
"When I got into warm up I felt pretty good. I warmed it up pretty good in the gym. I was ready to go," said Roslovic, who finished with four points on the night, but doesn't think the short pre-game skate will become routine.
"I don't think I'll get away with that one anymore," he said with a grin.
A total of 15 Jets players recorded at least a point in the win, the seventh straight victory for the Jets on home ice.
The line of Andrew Copp, Brendan Lemieux, and Mason Appleton combined for five points.
"This is just another day for us," said Copp. "I feel like right now we're playing really well, playing in the other team's end, creating a lot of chances. It's just staying on that path really."
Video: ANA@WPG: Jets explode for six goals in 1st period
It was that trio that opened the scoring, with Copp's fourth of the season - a rebound he sent home from just outside the crease 2:07 into the game.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for the Jets offence in the first period.
Roslovic followed up Copp's goal off a long stretch pass from Jacob Trouba. Captain Blake Wheeler finished off a dominant shift from his line with Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele. Roslovic added another power play marker, and Bryan Little tapped home a Dmitry Kulikov pass on a 2-on-1.
It was 6-0 at that point, and Gibson - eighth in the NHL in save percentage coming into the night - was done for the night after 14 shots.
"Gibson is a fantastic goaltender and he's going to bounce back," said Copp, adding the challenge was sticking to what made them successful in the final 40 minutes after building such a big lead.
"It was handling that and going about our game and trying to stay as fast as possible. We did an okay job. We had a couple lulls in the game but overall, I think we were able to stick to it pretty well."
The Jets (34-16-2) expected a push back in the second, and that's exactly what Anaheim gave them.
Video: POSTGAME | Jack Roslovic
Nick Ritchie broke Connor Hellebuyck's shutout bid 1:32 into the second period with a wrist shot that beat the Jets goaltender on the stick side. Daniel Sprong then notched Anaheim's second of the game with 6:06 left in the middle frame.
But the Jets got that second one back when Tyler Myers tapped home a Mason Appleton cross-crease pass, after the latter showed great patience on the left wing, waiting for Myers to join the rush.
"Clearly we nursed it a bit in the second. Our speed was so good in the first. They're going to come a little harder and a little faster," said Jets head coach Paul Maurice. "I've coached a bunch of games. I don't ever remember having a six-goal lead after the first… those are tough games to manage in some ways.
"You want to keep your foot on the gas, but you also want to spread your minutes out a little bit and give some guys an opportunity."
With another power play chance late in the second, Roslovic buried his third of the night - a quick wrist shot from the slot off a pass from Little - for his first career NHL hat trick.
"I think our team did a good job sticking to the game plan," said Roslovic. "We let a couple slide there but we were still in on them and didn't give them much. It's a bit more challenging. The fans get a little quieter, the bench gets a little more loose, but I think we did a good job keeping it a little bit tighter."
Video: ANA@WPG: Wheeler puts away his own rebound
Little's second of the night came 54 seconds into the third, when he tipped home a Ben Chiarot point shot.
Devin Shore would redirect home his first goal as a member of the Ducks with 7:43 left in regulation, but the damage was done.
The Jets skated off the ice with a 9-3 win and their third straight victory overall. At the end of the night, Maurice was happy for his team, and for Roslovic, who got to experience an NHL hat trick - the sixth the Jets have had this season.
"Jack was sharp tonight," said Maurice. "Goals mean a lot to any player, but when you're a young guy and a skilled guy, and you can have a big night like that, you can get a real big boost of confidence."