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Trouba's two goals help Jets defeat Red Wings

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- Jacob Trouba scored twice and Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at MTS Centre on Tuesday.

Andrew Ladd and Alexander Burmistrov scored for Winnipeg (17-17-2), which won its third consecutive home game and has victories in six of the past seven games at MTS Centre. Bryan Little had three assists and Blake Wheeler had two assists.

The Jets remain in last place in the Central Division but moved within two points of the sixth-place Colorado Avalanche. Winnipeg begins a five-game road trip Thursday at the Arizona Coyotes.

"To get back in this thing, we need to get rolling here and get on a streak," said Trouba, whose 25:27 of ice time led the Jets. "This road trip coming up is very important, and we're going to need a lot of the same style of game."

Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Red Wings (18-12-7), who have lost back-to-back games. Goaltender Jimmy Howard made 10 saves on 14 shots before being pulled for Petr Mrazek with Winnipeg ahead 4-0. Mrazek had 11 saves.

"Not good enough," said Howard, who was pulled for the second consecutive start. "Simple as that. I wasn't good enough."

An issue for the Jets all season, special teams helped them take a 2-0 lead by 10:29 of the first period. Trouba's shorthanded goal at 4:27 opened the scoring. While killing off Adam Lowry's double-minor for high sticking, Trouba broke loose on a pass from Drew Stafford before beating Howard with a high shot. Trouba's third goal gave the Jets’ 26th-ranked penalty kill six shorthanded goals this year, third-most in the NHL.

"I thought the team played really well in front of me," said Hellebuyck, who has stopped 63 of 64 shots in his past two games. "Getting that early lead is huge. We set the pace from there."

Detroit went 0-for-4 on the power play in the first period.

"Our special teams let us down enough early, especially when we had a power play there when we had an opportunity to change the game," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

Ladd capitalized during a 5-on-3 man-advantage for his 10th goal. After Detroit took penalties 41 seconds apart, Ladd moved into the left circle, took a pass from Wheeler and put a shot past Howard for the Jets' first 5-on-3 goal this season.

Burmistrov's goal, his first since Nov. 4, extended Winnipeg's lead to 3-0 at 4:13 of the second. Trouba's second goal of the game at 11:43 made it 4-0. It was his first two-goal game since Jan. 18, 2014.

Little assisted on the Jets' final three goals. He has four goals and four assists in his past five games.

Datsyuk scored Detroit's only goal on the power play 1:52 into the third period. It was his fifth goal of the season and moved his point streak to four games (two goals, two assists). Datsyuk played his 909th game with the Red Wings, moving him past Sergei Fedorov and Kirk Maltby into eighth place in franchise history.

Blashill pulled Howard in a 4-3 home loss against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 22 after he allowed three goals on six first-period shots.

"Nobody is going to feel sorry for [me]," Howard said. "I don't feel sorry for [me]. I'm just going to continue to work hard and continue to bring a positive attitude to the rink every single day. Just work. That's the only way I know and the only way I have been taught my whole life is [to] just put in the time and effort, and good things will happen to you."

Blashill and Howard's teammates rallied around the goaltender after the game.

"I think you've just got to continue to grind through it," Blashill said. "We talk about hard work and perseverance. You've just got to find a way grind through, keep working on your game and the next opportunity you get, you're going to gain confidence when you're stopping pucks.

"I'm not worried about Jimmy. I think he'll be just fine in the long run here."

The Red Wings, who are in a stretch of nine of 10 games on the road, face the Pittsburgh Penguins at home Thursday before starting a six-game road trip.

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