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Strong special teams help Jets defeat Canucks

Perreault, Lowry net PPG each; Hutchinson stops 28 in 2-1 victory

by Ryan Dittrick @ryandittrick / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - On a day when all the chatter leading up to game time surrounded their troubling act on special teams, the Winnipeg Jets rose to the occasion and delivered a victory on the strength of a red-hot power play.

The PP went a perfect 2-for-2 while the penalty kill was equally sublime, stuffing the Canucks on their lone chance of the evening.  

Adam Lowry played the hero, breaking a 1-1 tie with 8:13 to play to send the Jets to a 2-1 win.

The Jets worked puck down low in the Vancouver zone and Mathieu Perreault - who had Winnipeg's earlier goal - delivered a great pass out front to Lowry, and he buried it for his 14th goal of the season.

Blake Wheeler chipped in with two assists, while Michael Hutchinson was exceptional in goal, stopping 28 shots to pick up his third win in his last four tries.

"We moved the puck around well," Lowry said of the game-winner - his first of the season. "I thought we had really good possession time and we were able to work it around, and fortunately I was able to bury it. It's nice to come out on top of the special teams battle.

"It's always nice to score goals at crucial times. This time of year, it's still fun to win and we're still trying to put our best foot forward every game."

Video: VAN@WPG: Lowry roofs scorching PPG over Miller

Alex Edler opened the scoring for the Canucks with only 21.6 seconds left in the first period. With traffic in front, Edler floated one through the left point, beating Hutchinson low, glove side to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.

Coming off a difficult road trip two times zones away, Head Coach Paul Maurice did say he was worried about his team's energy level off the hop, but the Jets had no trouble conjuring it up early on, recording 11 of the first 15 shots of the game.

The Jets had multiple chances in the front half of the period, including one that found iron. Joel Armia stripped Edler at the far circle, spun and rifled a shot off the far post. Looking for his first-career goal, Nelson Nogier followed it up a few minutes later with a point-blank chance from the very same spot, but Miller came up with the save.

From there, the Canucks took over the game and finished the period on 9-1 run on the shot clock.

Hutchinson had to come up big late in the period when a Bo Horvat centering pass found former UND star Brock Boeser in front for what should have been a tap-in. Hutchinson, along with the defensive efforts of Mark Scheifele, kept the 20-year-old off the board with a big save on the goal line.

Video: VAN@WPG: Hutchinson lays out to stone Boeser

"I felt really good," he said. "Right from the get go our guys came out with a lot of jump. We were outshooting them and getting chances and I felt like we were going to get a lot of goals tonight. Credit to (Ryan) Miller, he made some great saves or we could have opened that up completely. It made me feel confident out there, knowing that they were going to score a couple tonight just the way they were going."

The Jets evened the score with a power-play goal at 13:51 of the second. Perreault took a pass from Blake Wheeler at the right circle, waited for the screen to form in front, and fired a laser over Miller's left shoulder to score his 11th of the year.

Video: VAN@WPG: Perreault picks the corner for PPG in 2nd

Perreault continues to be the hottest Jet offensively with 21 points (7G, 14A) in his last 16 games.

Video: POSTGAME | Mathieu Perreault

"It's all forwards out there and we're just passing the puck around, and whatever's open, we try to take it and that's what we did today," Perreault said. "We've got great players here that can make plays. Sometimes bounces aren't going your way, but right now, scoring seven games in a row, you need a little bit of luck and a few bounces here and there."

The Jets' power play now has a goal in seven straight games, going 8-for-25 (32%) overall.

The Jets were all over the Canucks in the middle frame, outshooting them 15-9, while getting more than 57 percent of the total shot attempts (24-18) as they looked for the go-ahead goal.

LATE HITS: Dustin Byfuglien missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. He is expected to play Tuesday in New Jersey. … Patrik Laine did not play, either, as he came down with an illness and was a game-time decision.

- Ryan Dittrick, WinnipegJets.com

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