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Laine's hat trick and Mason's shutout lead Jets to win over Rangers

Scheifele leaves game with upper-body injury

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

NEW YORK, NY - Three wins in a row for the Winnipeg Jets, and three more goals for Patrik Laine.

The 19-year-old registered his first hat trick of the season - the fourth of his career - in a 3-0 Jets (40-17-9) win over the New York Rangers Tuesday night.

Video: POSTGAME | JetsTV Road Report

Laine's point streak now sits at nine games, with a total of 13 goals and 19 points accumulating over that stretch.

"Things are going pretty well. The team is winning, and our line is playing some pretty good hockey," said Laine.

"I think it has been better since I started skating again. Now when Paul (Stastny) joined the team, he's an unbelievable player. He brings so much to the table. It's easy for me and Nik to play with him. It's nice to get rewarded too."

Video: POSTGAME | Patrik Laine

At the other end of the rink, Steve Mason made 31 saves for his first shutout as a member of the Jets.

It was his first NHL start since Jan. 9, after the 29-year-old worked his way back from his second concussion of the season.

"You're not going on the road all the time, so you're spending a lot of time at home. So it's nice to be back around the team and go on a road trip at an important point of the year," said Mason. "I felt really comfortable right from the get go. I had a good morning skate here this morning. I felt sharp right from the start, so it was a pretty good feeling for myself to get back in there after such a long lay off."

A patented Laine wrist shot got the Jets on the board first with 55.7 seconds to go in the opening period.

The shot - which came after a dominant shift from the trio of Laine, Stastny, and Nikolaj Ehlers - was made possible earlier in the shift when Dustin Byfuglien kept the offensive zone time alive with a timely pinch. He then went cross-ice to Stastny, who left it for Laine at the top of the left wing circle. The 19-year-old did the rest, ripping his 36th of the season short side on Henrik Lundqvist.

"To score with under a minute left, go into the dressing room with some momentum, I think that just gave us a little boost," said captain Blake Wheeler, who had an assist in the victory. "We've known how special he is - that shot, that release, it just looks like him Stastny, and (Ehlers), they have such a good chemistry. It seems like once they got together, Patty has had a lot more time to get that shot off."

Video: WPG@NYR: Laine nets second of the game from high slot

The Finn would find twine again in the second, when he followed Ben Chiarot into the Rangers zone off the rush. Chiarot dropped the puck back to Laine after gaining the zone, and number 29 cut to the middle of the slot, and fired another past Lundqvist on the blocker side.

The goal marked Laine's fourth multi-goal game in his last five outings, after having just one in the first 60 games.

"I added some pounds during the summer. I was trying to get used to it during the season," said Laine. "After Christmas, I felt like I was flying on the ice. I'm not flying, but it feels like it."

Video: WPG@NYR: Laine fires pinpoint snipe past Lundqvist

Mason's busiest period was the third, when he turned aside all 12 shots he faced from the Rangers, who had their three-game win streak snapped with the loss.

"It was a great return. The guys played great in front of me. Overall it was a very contained game from a defensive standpoint," said Mason. "A couple of lucky breaks with Ben (Chiarot) making a good defensive play in the first, and them missing an open net and putting it back into me in the second. In order to get a shutout you need some breaks, and the team played well."

Laine would seal the hat trick with his 38th of the season with 34 seconds left in regulation, firing the puck off a neutral zone face-off into the empty net.

Video: POSTGAME | Steve Mason

The third of six stops on Winnipeg's season-long six-game road trip comes on Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils.

"We know with the Devils they're going to be a bit of a combination of the teams we just finished playing," said head coach Paul Maurice. "They're going to be hard gap defensively and hard to move the puck against, like Carolina. I know these guys have lost some of their guys, but they still have dangerous offensive shooters.

"We'll have to be a little better than we have been in our past three to go in there and win."

Video: POSTGAME | Blake Wheeler

ICE CHIPS

A first period collision in the neutral zone between Wheeler and Mark Scheifele left both players doubled over on the team's bench.

Unfortunately for the Jets, Scheifele would eventually leave the game late in the second period with an upper-body injury "directly related" to the collision, according to Maurice.

However, it isn't related to the upper-body injury that kept him out of the line-up for 16 games earlier this season.

"He was fine after, it just stiffened up really quickly," said Maurice. "We wouldn't put a player at risk under any circumstances. But in the situation we are, we monitor all our injuries very closely on the bench. As soon as he felt he started to stiffen up, we got him out of there."

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