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Jets spread out the offence in win over New Jersey

Scheifele scores twice, Wheeler extends point streak to 10 games

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Throughout the start of the season, the Winnipeg Jets were consistent in saying if they kept doing the right things, the offence would come.

Two games into the home stand, their words are ringing true.

After putting up five against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, the Jets scored another handful Sunday night to earn a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.

"We've been playing the right way, we've been in the right spots. Lines are starting to figure out each other and we're a little bit more consistent in our routes," said Mark Scheifele, who scored twice in the game. "We want to continue to build off this. It's two solid games for us and we're definitely happy to see the results we've got the last two and we just have to continue to build."

Video: NJD@WPG: Roslovic, Scheifele score 29 seconds apart

Jack Roslovic, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Mathieu Perreault added singles in the win, while Blake Wheeler added another two assists to extend his point streak to 10 games.

His line with Scheifele and Ehlers combined for seven points to help move the Jets record to 10-5-1.

"We feel if we take care of our end and stay underneath the puck, do the little things - support each other, little chips - really just the smart easy plays," said Wheeler. "It gives ourselves a chance to create some offence coming up the ice. We were able to capitalize a couple of times."

After weathering a first shift storm from the Devils, the Jets offence went to work.

First, Roslovic took advantage of Dustin Byfuglien knocking down a clearing attempt on the left side boards, and found some space in the middle of the ice. Roslovic cut into the slot, and ripped home his first of the season off the post and past Cory Schneider.

Roslovic finished the night with a season-high 11:59 of ice time. His line with Andrew Copp and Nic Petan were dangerous throughout the night.

"That was a nice play. Nice pinch by Buff, nice fill, and a heck of a shot too," said Wheeler.

"You want as many guys getting some confidence, feeling good about themselves. He's a guy that when he's feeling good, he's got an extra step and can really do some things for our team."

Video: NJD@WPG: Scheifele taps in second goal of the game

Just 29 seconds later, Blake Wheeler's pass from the goal line found Mark Scheifele in the slot, and Scheifele went high glove on Schneider for his eighth of the season.

But with 12:45 to go in the opening period, Devils forward Brett Seney got free in the slot, and got his stick on a centering pass from Jesper Bratt. His first NHL goal pulled the Devils within one.

Scheifele was in the right spot at the right time to extend the Jets lead back to two. Camped out to Schneider's right, Scheifele ended up with the puck on his tape after Jacob Trouba's point shot deflected off Bratt's stick. His tap-in was his second of the night, and ninth of the season.

New Jersey would counter though, as Blake Coleman's wrist shot from the left circle beat Hellebuyck high on the stick side with 16:15 left in the second.

But that was the last one to beat Hellebuyck, who finished with 34 saves.

"That week of practice actually helped," said Hellebuyck, referring to the six days the Jets had without a game after the NHL Global Series.

"I was able to work through some things and got some time with Flats. We did a lot of good things. We got the details back, and now it's just getting in that groove."

Video: NJD@WPG: Perreault goes five-hole on Schneider

The back-and-forth continued, as the Jets would take advantage of a delayed penalty call to take the two-goal lead back. When Scheifele's shot from the slot missed the net, it caromed off the end boards and out front where Nikolaj Ehlers quickly fired it to the top corner for his fourth goal in his last six games.

From that point on, head coach Paul Maurice said the Jets being able to roll four lines benefitted them.

"We had a pretty full bench going up front," said Maurice.

"Bryan Little's line had some dominant offensive zone shifts. Andrew Copp's line was really skating well. We had just a bunch of guys moving in the right direction." 

Video: NJD@WPG: Ehlers puts home carom off end boards

Wheeler was the one who fed Scheifele in the slot, and picked up his league leading 20th assist of the season. He's also the first member of the Jets to reach 500 points since the relocation in 2011.

"He's amazing. I say it every day. I'm lucky to play with him. He's a fantastic player and he's a great friend," said Scheifele.

"What makes him stand out is how hard he works. Great things happen to guys that work hard."

Then after forcing a turnover in the neutral zone, the Jets attacked the Devils' zone off the rush, finishing it off with a Kyle Connor pass to Mathieu Perreault on the right wing, who beat Schneider five hole for his third of the year.

Maurice said Connor's play on the forecheck and his ability to create turnovers all over the ice are the big strides he's seen in his game.

"He's as good as we have when he's on the puck the way he is," said Maurice. "He's so quick with that stick. He uses that speed, he's not a heavy hitter. If you're looking at pucks contained, he would be among our leaders, and tonight - probably our leader."

While the teams traded chances in the final period, nothing more made it on the scoreboard.

With back-to-back wins on home ice, both played in a style the Jets like, Wheeler likes the direction things are heading.

"I think it reinforces, especially with a young team, do the right things underneath the puck," said Wheeler. "Things are going to go wrong throughout the course of the game. Just stop on it, get back, and have good sticks. Battle your way out of the zone.

"If you keep doing that all night, it can be frustrating to play against. That's when you're going to get your offence, especially the second half of the game. If you make a good team come 200 feet and good players come 200 feet, it gets tiring to do that all night."

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