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game recap

Wheeler becomes Jets leader in points, Hellebuyck shuts out Wild

Forward has goal, assist to pass Kovalchuk; Minnesota home point streak ends at 12

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Wheeler sets club mark

WPG@MIN: Wheeler becomes franchise leader in points

Blake Wheeler sets up Patrik Laine for a power-play goal and surpasses Ilya Kovalchuk for the most points in Jets/Thrashers history with 616

  • 00:44 •

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist to become the Winnipeg Jets' all-time points leader, and they defeated the Minnesota Wild 6-0 at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

"It's not something I've set out to do or thought about," Wheeler said. "I really feel like the product of some good teams and I've played on some really good lines. I play a lot of minutes, so I just feel fortunate for the opportunities I've had here and the guys I get to play with every night."

Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for Winnipeg (21-13-2).

 

[WATCH: All Jets vs. Wild highlights]

 

"I think the guys in front of me played fantastic," Hellebuyck said. "Anytime they put up six, it helps. I just thought our overall game, we never took a shift off."

Alex Stalock allowed six goals on 28 shots for the Wild (17-15-5), who had a 12-game home point streak (9-0-3). 

"The fans wanted to cheer today," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I could go through the whole roster, but I don't think there was anybody that looked like they had a lot of energy."

Video: WPG@MIN: Hellebuyck stops 31 shots, leads Jets to win

Wheeler has 616 points (202 goals, 414 assists) in 675 games with the Winnipeg/Atlanta Thrashers franchise, passing Ilya Kovalchuk (615 points; 328 goals, 287 assists in 594 games).

"It's not going to be long before one of these guys on this team passes me and that will be a good moment too," Wheeler said. "But it's a reflection of taking advantage of your opportunities and playing with a lot of really good guys."

Wheeler scored shorthanded for a 1-0 lead at 14:43 of the first. Mark Scheifele gave the Jets a 2-0 lead with six seconds left in the period deflecting a shot by Luca Sbisa.

Patrik Laine increased the lead 3-0 with a slap shot at 10:38 of the second period.

Video: WPG@MIN: Laine creates space, wires wrist shot home

Kyle Connor sprung Nikolaj Ehlers for a breakaway and 4-0 score at 1:09 of the third period. Laine scored his second with an assist from Wheeler at 6:15, and Logan Shaw scored at 7:53 for the 6-0 final. 

Devan Dubnyk replaced Stalock after Shaw scored, and made three saves in relief.

"The last couple games have been rough for us," Wheeler said. "We ran into some teams that have played well. We were playing really well for such a long time that I think that grind got away from us a little bit for a couple games. Sometimes you just need a good feeling to get it back rolling. It was good to jump on them early, especially in this building. It can get out of whack pretty quickly if you're not on your toes, so it was nice to get a good start in here, and a huge one before the break to get it rolling."

Video: Hellebuyck blanks the Minnesota Wild

 

They said it

"We have a close history (with Minnesota). We know what a difficult place this is. But you know, we're also aware how difficult it is to come back from the west coast the way they did, right? So, they stay over and come back to an afternoon game. We've faced that in the past and know how tough that is. Both teams have some important guys out of their lineup. So, we wanted to make sure we were ready for the start and I think we were." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

"We went through the first 10 games where we only won [three]. If we can't bounce back after a couple losses - we've lost three out of four right now - if we can't bounce back, then it's not the group I thought we had." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

Need to know

Wheeler was acquired in a trade with the Bruins on Feb. 18, 2011. ... The Jets are 6-0-0 in afternoon games this season. … Laine has five goals in his past six games. … Scheifele has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in his past nine games. ... Jets forward Jansen Harkins had an assist and one shot in 9:31 in his NHL debut. … Staal had a five-game point streak end. … It was Minnesota's first regulation loss at Xcel Energy Center since their home opener Oct. 12 (7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins). 

 

What's next

Jets: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV) 

Wild: Host the Calgary Flames on Monday (5 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Laine, Hellebuyck fuel Jets to shutout against Wild

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