Winnipeg Jets’ Neal Pionk (4) battles hard against Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson (40) in front of Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck during second period NHL exhibition game action in Edmonton, on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Codie McLachlan

Hellebuyck backstops Jets to 4-1 win over Canucks in NHL exhibition play

Vancouver will meet Minnesota Wild in play-in series

EDMONTON — The Winnipeg Jets, backed by the razor-sharp goaltending of Connor Hellebuyck, overcame a sloppy first period to beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 in exhibition play Wednesday.

Hellebuyck batted away numerous one-timers from below the face-off dot and stoned Canucks sniper Brock Boeser on a breakaway to bail out his teammates before the Jets found their feet and wore down Vancouver and its goaltender Jacob Markstrom.

Tucker Poolman, Nikolaj Ehlers, Dmitry Kulikov and Blake Wheeler supplied the Jets offence. Antoine Roussel scored for the Canucks.

Hellebuyck, a Vezina Trophy finalist, stopped 37-of-38 shots while Markstrom turned aside 30-of-33, with Wheeler’s goal into an empty net.

The Jets were outshot 12-7 in the first period, but opened the scoring with just over one minute left in the frame when defenceman Poolman fired a wrist shot just inside the blue line through heavy traffic past a screened Markstrom.

Markstrom didn’t get the help he needed as the Jets began to dominate the cycle in Vancouver’s end in the second period to add two more goals.

With just over five minutes left in the frame, Jet winger Patrik Laine blasted a shot in full stride on a 2-on-1 that Markstrom blocked, but allowed a juicy rebound that Ehlers buried into an open net.

Less than two minutes later, with the Canucks unable to clear the puck from their own zone, Kulikov jumped up in the slot, took a drop pass from Jack Roslovic and buried a shot through bodies stickside on Markstrom.

READ MORE: NHL players take assortment of creature comforts with them to hub cities

The Canucks finally got to Hellebuyck with just under seven minutes to go in the game, when Roussel poked one under his pads in a goal-mouth scramble.

Wheeler dumped the puck into an empty net with 1:39 remaining as the Canucks pulled Markstrom for a 6-on-5 advantage.

Hellebuyck led all goalies with six shutouts in the regular season — while facing a shooting gallery at times in front of defence that had to be retooled due to a number of departures, including Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, and Tyler Myers (who went to Vancouver) — before COVID-19 halted play.

Hellebuyck had a 31-21-5 record with a .922 save percentage while Markstrom was 23-16-4 with a .918 save percentage.

It was the second night of exhibition play at Rogers Place, the hub city for 12 Western Conference teams vying to win the Stanley Cup while staying isolated from the public to prevent contracting COVID-19.

Toronto is hosting the 12 contenders from the Eastern Conference.

The Jets, seeded 9th in the Western Conference with a 37-28-6 record, open their best-of-five elimination series against the Calgary Flames Saturday.

Calgary, seeded eighth, lost its exhibition matchup 4-1 to Edmonton Tuesday.

Vancouver, seeded seventh with a 36-27-6 record, plays the 10th-ranked Minnesota Wild beginning Sunday.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanucksNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elena Tran 9, grade five student at Conrad Elementary School learns about Truth and Reconciliation on Oct. 21 with the story of Chanie Wenjack who died at the side of rail lines while fleeing a residential school in 1967. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Conrad Elementary students learn of ‘reconciliACTION’ during Secret Path Week

Secret Path Week from Oct. 17 to 22 commemorates the passing of Chani Wenjack and Gord Downie

More than $10,000 in donations and toys was presented to the Salvation Army by the Prince Rupert Harley riders on Oct. 20, from the 39th annual Toy Ride held on Sept 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Harley Riders rode to victory with $10,000 donation to Salvation Army

The 39th annual Prince Rupert Harley Riders gifted more than 280 toys from the annual Toy Ride

The Prince Rupert Port Authority Land Use Plan will guide the growth within lands and waters under its jurisdiction and facilitate Canada’s trade with the world for the next 20 years. (Photo: Supplied by Port of Prince Rupert)
Land Use Plan finalized by Port Authority

PRPA Land Use Plan plan guides the growth and trade for next 20 years within its lands and waters

Such sweetness with all this candy. Dylan Kennedy 7, with his mom Kerri Kennedy volunteer at the Halloween Fest Committee event to bag candy for students in SD 52 on Oct. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
How sweet it is

Bags of candy were assembled by more than 25 Halloween Fest Volunteers for distribution to S.D. 52

Ashley Wilson officer in charge of Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Traffic Services said radio officers in Prince Rupert are the eyes and ears of the Canadian Coast Guard with the job as an ocean first responder being like a 911 dispatcher. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Coast Guard calling for radio officers

Deadline for radio officers applications extended specifically for Prince Rupert and area residents

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read