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Drew Stafford scores twice, Winnipeg holds on to beat Minnesota 5-4

NHL.com @NHL

WINNIPEG - Drew Stafford's second goal of the second period turned out to the difference as the Winnipeg Jets held off a late Minnesota comeback and beat the Wild 5-4 on Sunday.

Stafford snapped a shot from the top of the face-off circle past goaltender Darcy Kuemper 51 seconds into the second period for a three-goal lead. Kuemper was replaced by Devan Dubnyk, who saw Stafford add his second of the game at the 4:34 mark of the period to make it 5-1 Winnipeg.

Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers had the other goals for the Jets (5-2-1). Ladd and Little each added an assist while Blake Wheeler had two helpers to extend his points streak to start a season to eight games, setting a new franchise record.

Stafford has a team-leading five goals this season.

Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson was solid after allowing the first goal of the game to Wild forward Jason Zucker 10 seconds into the contest. Hutchinson stopped 26 shots for his third win this season.

Mikko Koivu, Justin Fontaine and Zach Parise also scored for Minnesota (5-2-1).

After the Jets spotted the Wild an early 1-0 lead, Little evened things after a puck bounced off him and squirted over Kuemper at the 1:12 mark of the first.

The home side took the lead when Ladd located a loose puck at the top of the Wild crease and tapped it past a screened Kuemper at 3:27.

Winnipeg extended its lead to 3-1 when Ehlers snapped a quick shot past Kuemper's blocker at 12:12 of the first. The Jets outshot the Wild 17-9 in the period and 33-30 overall.

Kuemper allowed four goals on 18 shots. After Winnipeg made it 5-1 and chased him, Minnesota found some life on a power-play goal from Koivu and a Fontaine goal 38 seconds later.

Dubnyk made 14 saves on 15 shots in relief.

Notes: Winnipeg is now 2-1-1 during its season-long six-game homestand ??? The Jets next see action Tuesday, when they host the Los Angeles Kings ??? Wheeler's franchise record eight game point streak to start the season surpasses the seven-game streak set by former Atlanta Thrasher Donald Audette in 2000-01 ??? Little's assist on Ladd's first-period goal was the his 200th of his NHL career.

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