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game recap

Jets use early lead to defeat Ducks

Ehlers scores twice in first five minutes; Winnipeg wins sixth in past seven games

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Nikolaj Ehlers and Bryan Little had three points each for the Winnipeg Jets in a 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Friday.

Ehlers had two goals and an assist, and Little had a goal and two assists. Tyler Myers had two assists, and Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves for Winnipeg (14-5-3), which has won six of its past seven games.

 

[WATCH: All Jets vs. Ducks highlights]

 

"It's always nice scoring goals and contributing to the win," Ehlers said. "Our line, especially, hasn't been producing and playing the way that we've wanted to. Last game in L.A. (a 2-1 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday) was a step in the right direction, and another step today."

Francois Beauchemin scored, and John Gibson made 32 saves for the Ducks (10-9-3), who went 3-5-1 in nine home games this month.

Beauchemin, a healthy scratch the past two games, made it 2-1 at 5:46 of the second period after Mike Liambas won the puck on the forecheck. Liambas passed it out to Beauchemin at the left point. Ducks forward Logan Shaw ducked under the slap shot and it sailed into the net for Beauchemin's first goal of the season and Liambas' first NHL point in his fifth game.

The Jets went on their third power play at 10:40 of the second and scored their second goal with the man-advantage at 12:06 for a 3-1 lead. Little had room to skate into the right circle and beat Gibson with Mathieu Perreault providing a screen.

Kyle Connor scored an empty-net goal with 1:40 left in the third period.

"It's all about our preparation as individuals," Beauchemin said. "We need to make sure we're ready as soon as the puck drops."

Ehlers scored twice in the first five minutes of the first period after the Jets had a goal disallowed following an offside review.

Video: WPG@ANA: Beauchemin scores on shot from the point

"It looked like we didn't even have our skates on," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were so slow to react for the first five or six minutes."

Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm turned over the puck behind the net, and Mark Scheifele scored off a pass from Blake Wheeler 34 seconds into the first period. The Ducks challenged for offside and it was determined Wheeler entered the zone before the puck prior to the scoring play.

Seconds later, Anaheim defenseman Sami Vatanen tripped as he was about to clear the puck from the zone. The puck went to Ehlers, who passed it to Little at the bottom of the left circle, where he passed to Patrik Laine at the left hash mark. Laine's shot was saved by Gibson, but the rebound came out diagonally to Ehlers, who scored into the open side of the net at 40 seconds. 

Video: WPG@ANA: Ehlers hammers home Laine's rebound

Anaheim followed with back-to-back minor penalties, and Ehlers scored on the second power play. He set up in the left circle with time to find an opening on the short side and score his 10th of the season for a 2-0 lead at 4:59.

"The start was huge," Little said. "We know it's a tough building to play in. We know these guys are known to come out hard and stay in games. I thought we did a good job playing with the lead tonight, even when things got tight. We're just getting better and better at closing games like this."

 

Goal of the game

Ehlers' goal at 4:59 of the first period. 

Video: WPG@ANA: Ehlers rips home PPG for second goal

 

Save of the game

Hellebuyck's pad save on Chris Wagner at 7:45 of the second period.

Video: WPG@ANA: Hellebuyck denies Wagner with pad save

 

Highlight of the game

Little's goal at 12:06 of the second period.

Video: WPG@ANA: Little pads lead with sleek power-play goal

 

They said it

"We're playing great. It's every guy. No one's taking a night off and no one's taking a shift off, and you can tell we're supporting each other up and down the ice." -- Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck

 

"We're not going to throw our hands up in the air. There were some good points in the game. We have to be better in the start, and our special teams have to give us a chance in the game." -- Ducks coach Randy Carlyle

 

Need to know

Ryan Miller was the backup goalie for Anaheim after being unavailable the past five games because of a lower-body injury. Reto Berra was sent to San Diego of the American Hockey League. … Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was a healthy scratch for the second time this season. He does not have a point in his past 10 games. … The Ducks have been outshot 48-21 in the first period of their past three home games. … Little has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 14 games against Anaheim. … The Jets went 2-for-3 on the power play after they were 1-for-28 in the prior seven games against the Ducks.

 

What's next

Jets: At the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; SN, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Ducks: At the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, KCOP-13, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Ehlers, Little lift Jets past Ducks, 4-1

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