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Perreault scores four goals to lead Jets to dominant win over Panthers

NHL.com @NHL

WINNIPEG - Mathieu Perreault scored four goals and added an assist as the Winnipeg Jets trounced the Florida Panthers 8-2 on Tuesday.

Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien scored a pair of goals and added an assist. Jay Harrison and Evander Kane also scored for Winnipeg (22-14-8).

Fans gave the team a loud standing ovation after the victory, which earned head coach Paul Maurice his 500th win as an NHL head coach. The eight-goal output was a season-high for the Jets, one short of the franchise record.

Perreault's four-goal performance tied the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise record for most goals in a game. Former Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk was the last to do the feat in 2005 and Pascal Rheaume recorded the first one.

Perreault, who's never scored four goals in a game, had his first career hat trick on Jan. 24, 2012, against Boston. He now has 15 goals and 14 assists in 43 games this season. Goalie Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves.

Dave Bolland, with his first of the season, and Brad Boyes scored for Florida (20-12-9), which was finishing up a six-game road trip that saw the team go 4-2-0.

Roberto Luongo started in net for Florida, but was pulled with 13:23 left in the second period in favour of Al Montoya after letting in four goals on 20 shots. Montoya made 11 stops.

The Jets mounted a 2-0 lead just past the midway point of the opening period on Perreault's first two goals and made it 3-0 early in the second. The first goal came after Winnipeg capitalized on a Florida turnover just inside the Panthers' blue-line. Mark Scheifele got the puck and sent it across to Frolik at the point, whose shot went off the backboards.

Defenceman Zach Bogosian picked up the ricochet and passed the puck to Perreault in front, who flipped it past Luongo for his 12th goal of the season at 7:24.

Perreault scored his second goal just two seconds before a hooking penalty to Florida centre Nick Bjugstad expired.

A Panthers' clearing attempt wasn't successful and Perreault ended up with the puck in the faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot by Luongo at 11:24.

Winnipeg made it 3-0 at 3:39 of the second period when Byfuglien took the puck up the left side of the ice, paused for a split second like he might pass, but then snapped a quick shot that went over Luongo's glove.

Bolland scored his first goal of the season at 5:15 to make it 3-1, but Byfuglien responded with his second goal of the game 68 seconds later when he squeezed a close shot through a gap between the post and Luongo's right pad at 6:23.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd assisted on Byfuglien's goal, extending his points streak to a career-tying seven games with four goals and five assists.

Montoya got the nod after the goal made it 4-1.

Perreault then scored back-to-back goals late in the second period to make it 6-1. Winnipeg had outshot the Panthers 25-20 after two periods.

Harrison widened the gap to 7-1 at 4:26 of the third period, Boyes made it 7-2 just over a minute later and Kane scored on the power play at 13:47 to end the rout.

The Jets head out for two-game road trip starting Thursday in Dallas. The Panthers host Colorado on Thursday.

Notes ??? Panthers winger Jussi Jokinen, 31, was playing in his 700th career game ??? Jets forward Michael Frolik was a first-round draft pick (10th overall) by Florida in 2006.

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