Wild snap five-game losing streak, beat Jets 3-1
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Devan Dubnyk had a bounce-back game for the Minnesota Wild.
Dubnyk stopped 26 shots to help the Wild beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 Saturday, ending a season-high five-game losing streak.
Defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored in his debut with the Wild, and Charlie Coyle and Eric Fehr also scored. Zach Parise had two assists.
The Wild were 0-4-1 in the last five games, with only five goals during the stretch. Dubnyk had been pulled in a 5-2 loss to Chicago on Thursday after letting in three goals on 10 shots.
“I don’t really want to talk about last game,” Dubnyk said. “I felt fine in there. We won’t get into that.”
Beating the Central Division-leading Jets was an opportunity to “right the ship,” he said.
“You come into this building where they’re so good … and you know it’s going to be a huge task,” Dubnyk said. “Sometimes that opportunity and responsibility is kind of what you need to lift you out of it. That’s why it was such a big game for us.”
Patrik Laine scored on the power play for his 24th goal of the season for Winnipeg, and his first point in five games. Connor Hellebuyck finished with 21 saves for the Central Division-leading Jets.
Winnipeg has lost two straight for just the second time this season. Calgary defeated the Jets 4-1 on Thursday. Coincidentally, the earlier skid was also against Calgary and Minnesota in late November.
“(The Wild) play a strong defensive game, so maybe we were trying to make cute plays through them and it wasn’t working,” Winnipeg forward Mathieu Perreault said. “But we had some chances there later in the third … just couldn’t put them in.”
Minnesota led 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 after two.
Called up earlier in the day, Bartkowski benefited when the Jets couldn’t clear the puck out of their own end. He took a pass from Marcus Foligno at the point and sent a straight-on shot past a screened Hellebuyck at 9:28.
“Pretty awesome,” Bartkowski said of scoring after getting brought up from Iowa of the American Hockey League. “You get the win, too, so you can’t really draw it up any better than that.”
Minnesota outshot the Jets 11-6 in the opening period, which featured six Winnipeg giveaways and line shuffles by head coach Paul Maurice.
Coyle made it 2-0 at 2:17 of the second. A shot by Wild forward Luke Kunin hit the stick of Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and the puck bounced to Coyle, who sent it over Hellebuyck’s arm for his sixth.
Winnipeg had the game’s first power play with 3:07 left in the second, but got only one shot at Dubnyk. Minnesota had a 10-7 advantage in shots on goal in the middle frame.
The Jets had another power play early in the third and made it count with 23 seconds remaining on a holding penalty to Nino Niederreiter.
After whiffing on a one-timer, Laine’s second opportunity was a rocket over Dubnyk’s blocker at 7:21.
Fehr scored his fifth of the season into the empty net with 47 seconds remaining in the third.
“We were just very slow tonight,” Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. “It’s not something you see at all often in the other games. I haven’t seen that, I just haven’t seen that in a long time.”
NOTES: Laine’s goal was his league-leading 11th on the power play this season. … Jets D Dustin Byfuglien went to the dressing room midway through the third period after appearing to hurt his leg when he and Kunin collided along the boards. … Fehr’s goal was his first point in 14 games. …
Wild: Host Pittsburgh on Monday.
Jets: Visit Edmonton on Monday.