Kyle Connor has sparked the Winnipeg Jets in their quest to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The forward scored his Jets-leading 27th and 28th goals and added an assist in a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks at Bell MTS Place on Sunday. It was Connor's second game with at least three points in as many days after getting four (one goal, three assists) in a 5-2 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. He joined Mark Scheifele (Dec. 13-14, 2018) and Blake Wheeler (March 3-4, 2017) as the third player in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history to do so.
After trailing 2-0, the Jets scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Blackhawks, the 10th time in their history they scored at least five in consecutive days and second since relocating to Winnipeg in 2011 (April 2-3, 2018).
The Jets (29-23-5) have won four of their past five games (4-0-1) and two in a row to begin a six-game homestand. They lead the Calgary Flames (28-22-6) by one point for the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference and trail the Dallas Stars (31-19-5) by four points for third in the Central Division.
Dominik Kubalik scored 15 seconds into the game for the Blackhawks. He leads NHL rookies with 22 goals and is the ninth first-year player in the past 30 years to score in the opening 15 seconds of a regular-season game.
Shesterkin joins rare company for Rangers
Igor Shesterkin won his third consecutive start and five of his first six in the NHL by making 42 saves for the New York Rangers in a 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings at Madison Square Garden.
The goalie, recalled from Hartford of the American Hockey League on Jan. 6, made at least 40 saves for the second time this season (46 against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 9), the fourth goalie to do so through his first six games in the NHL.
Kaapo Kakko scored his first goal in 14 games for the Rangers (27-23-4), who are 4-2-0 since the All-Star break and nine points behind the Carolina Hurricanes (32-20-3) for the second wild card from the East.
Avalanche rolling ahead of Stadium Series
The Colorado Avalanche (32-16-6) extended their winning streak to four games with a 3-2 victory against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center and moved within three points of the St. Louis Blues (32-15-9) for first in the Western Conference.
The Avalanche are 18-9-2 on the road this season, second-best to the Washington Capitals (20-6-1), and can win 20 away from home for the first time since 2015-16 (22-19-0). They play the Senators at Pepsi Center on Tuesday before facing the Kings in the Navy Federal Credit Union 2020 NHL Stadium Series at Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVAS2).
Ovechkin resumes chase to 700 goals for Capitals
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin enters the game against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, ESPN+, SNW, SNP, TVAS, NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV) two goals from 700 in his NHL career. The 34-year-old can join Wayne Gretzky, who was 29, as the second NHL player to score No. 700 before age 36.
Washington's captain is also close to achieving a rare feat in sports. Among major scoring milestone lists with fewer than 10 names for NBA players (30,000 points), MLB hitters (600 home runs) and NFL quarterbacks (400 passing touchdowns), two players reached the milestone before age 35: LeBron James and Kobe Bryant in the NBA.