Laine scores 5 goals, lifts Winnipeg past St. Louis 8-4
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Patrik Laine never envisioned challenging the NHL’s single-game scoring record.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice did not share in his young winger’s modesty.
Laine recorded the 61st five-goal game in NHL history Saturday night as the Jets’ defeated the St. Louis Blues 8-4.
“I’m surprised that it hasn’t happened sooner,” Maurice said. “On the nights that he’s scored his three, he’s had his chances to get so much more.”
Laine didn’t share his coach’s confidence.
“If somebody thinks that it’s going to come easily, it doesn’t,” Laine said. “Every goal you’re going to score in this league, it’s hard. It’s the best league in the world. Obviously scoring five, it’s pretty unreal, but for those who think it’s easy, it’s not.”
The last player to score five goals in a game was Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 2, 2011. Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the last player to score six goals in a game, on April 22, 1976, against Boston.
Joe Malone, who played in the early days of the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, scored seven goals in a game with the Quebec Bulldogs in January 1920. He also had a six-goal game and three five-goal games.
Brandon Tanev, Blake Wheeler, and Brandon Lemieux also scored for the Jets who snapped their first two-game losing streak of the season.
Laurent Brossoit allowed four goals on 27 shots for his first career win against St. Louis. He improved to 4-1-1.
Chad Johnson allowed six goals on 25 shots and fell to 2-5-0. He was pulled in favor of Jake Allen after allowing his sixth, and Laine’s fourth goal of the game. Allen stopped nine of the 11 shots he faced in relief.
Laine’s five goal outburst gives him a league-leading 16 goals in 10 November games and 11 in his last four contests.
“I felt like every time I touched the puck it kind of went in somehow,” Laine said. “It was one of those nights. It’s probably not going to happen in a while, but we’ll hope it happens. It was a great night overall for myself and my line mates.”
Laine’s line mates, Bryan Little and Kyle Conner, combined to assist on four of Laine’s five goals.
“It’s up there,” Little said about how Laine’s performance stacks up to feats he has witnessed during his career. “It honestly seemed like every time we got possession of the puck we’d make a couple passes and Patty was wide open in the slot. We’d just find him. I think he missed one chance tonight and scored on everything else, so it shows just how good of a shooter he is.”
Laine scored his first goal 16:26 into the first period when he buried a feed from Little just 41 seconds after Wheeler tied the game 1-all with his fourth goal of the season.
Tarasenko tied the game 2-all 1:24 later, when he snapped a 10-game streak without scoring a goal with his seventh tally of the season.
Laine’s second goal came on the power play with Vladimir Tarasenko serving a two-minute penalty for roughing and put Winnipeg up 3-2.
Laine completed his seventh career hat trick and third of November when he beat Johnson 12:53 into the second period.
Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson fought Tyler Myers shortly after Laine’s third goal, but that did nothing to change the tide as Laine netted his fourth goal later in the period.
Laine netted his fifth of the game when he pushed a feed from Little past Allen, becoming the 45th player in NHL history to record a five-goal game.
“We’ve got to play him harder,” Blues left wing David Perron said. “It’s almost like we respected him too much.”
Perron, Ryan O’Reilly, and Pat Maroon also scored for the Blues who have not won consecutive games since defeating Carolina and San Jose on Nov. 6 and Nov. 9.
“This is a tough one to swallow, especially after the effort we gave last night beating a team like that,” Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. “We’ve got to be ready to play.”
NOTES: Blues LW Brayden Schenn skated in his 100th game with the team. . Perron scored his first goal in 14 games. .. Jets RW Blake Wheeler skated in his 800th career NHL game. .. Laine’s has scored 13 goals in 11 career games against St. Louis.
Jets: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday
Blues: At Detroit on Wednesday to start a three-game road trip.
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