Scheifele’s hat trick leads Winnipeg to 6-3 win over Wild
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Mark Scheifele had the fifth hat trick of his career and added an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
The three goals extended Scheifele’s goal streak to five games. He has seven goals and four assists in the span.
Scheifele credited a mini vacation for helping spark his goal streak.
“I just went down south and got some sun, played some golf and spent some time with some buddies,” Scheifele said. “It was a nice refresher.”
Jets captain Blake Wheeler had four assists.
“You saw the pass on the first goal, pretty phenomenal the vision there,” Scheifele said of Wheeler’s impact. “He’s been great after the break as well.
“I owe all of it to him, and (Paul Stastny) as well. He’s always in the right spot. He’s such a smart player, he’s so easy to play with.”
Cole Perfetti had a goal and assist, and Kyle Connor and Paul Stastny also scored for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves for Winnipeg, which is 4-2-1 in its last seven games.
Joel Eriksson Ek, Mats Zuccarello and Dmitry Kulikov scored for the Wild, who are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. Their two losses have been to Winnipeg. Zuccarello added an assist and Kirill Kaprizov had two assists. Cam Talbot stopped 25 shots.
There were 12,527 in attendance at Canada Life Centre after capacity limits were removed on Tuesday. It was roughly 3,000 shy of a full house.
The Jets shut out the Wild 2-0 in Winnipeg on Feb. 8. Winnipeg won the season series 2-1-1.
“Regardless of how Winnipeg plays, we still have to play the way we play,” Wild head coach Dave Evason said.
“We can say that first game we were off with the (All-Star) break and we weren’t sharp, but we weren’t sharp tonight either.”
Minnesota’s Alex Goligoski said Talbot didn’t get the help he deserved.
“I think we’re seeing it a little bit more now, there’s little lapses in our game where we’re just not as desperate as we should be and it cost us tonight,” Goligoski said.
“We left Cam out to dry.”
The Wild led 1-0 after the first period, with Winnipeg taking a 2-1 lead after two periods.
The Jets were outshooting the visitors 7-2 early in the first, but the Wild picked up the pace and got a fortunate bounce for their first goal.
Jared Spurgeon sent the puck to the front of the net and it went off Eriksson Ek’s skate and into the net at 10:29 for his 15th goal of the season.
Minnesota ended up with a 15-10 advantage in shots on goal at the end of the period.
Wheeler set up Scheifele’s tying goal by getting the puck behind the net and sending the puck across to Scheifele for his 15th goal of the season at 11:20.
Scheifele scored his second goal of the game on the power play with 12 seconds left in the period.
“I liked the fact that if you look at the first goal that we gave up, that could have derailed us,” Jets interim head coach Dave Lowry said.
“Our group showed a lot of resiliency. We just kept with what we had to do. We had to check tonight.”
Three goals were scored in the first five minutes of the third period.
Scheifele made it 3-1 at 1:07, and Perfetti widened the gap at 2:23.
Zuccarello scored his 15th goal of the season to close the gap 4-2 at 4:20.
Connor scored his team-leading 27th goal just under six minutes later.
Kulikov put in a loose puck at 16:46, and Stastny scored into an empty net with just over two minutes remaining.
Wild: Host Florida Panthers on Friday.
Jets: Host Seattle Kraken on Thursday.
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