Adam Lowry had two goals, Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots for his first shutout of the season and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 Monday night.
The shutout had plenty of meaning for Hellebuyck.
“It means you’ve finally perfected a game,” Hellebuyck said.
“I’m never going to say my game is perfect, but for one game, with the guys in front of me, we played a perfect game,” he said. “Granted, there’s some luck in there and maybe you can find some mistakes, but at the end of the day, we’re looking back at this like we played our A-plus game. And this is what we want to try and continue moving forward with.”
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Blake Wheeler opened the scoring for Winnipeg (19-11-2) midway through the first period and Paul Stastny closed the game with a goal late in the third.
Thatcher Demko stopped 24 of 29 shots for the Canucks (16-17-3).
“I thought it was tight-checking game,” Demko said. “Going into the third down one, I felt we we’re in a pretty good spot to make a push and tie it up and not a lot anyone could do on a couple of those plays.”
It was Hellebuyck’s 21st career shutout. His last came on March 6, 2020, when the Jets downed the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0.
The squad had been playing well but simply hadn’t earned the results they wanted, Hellebuyck said.
“We’ve got a lot of character in that locker room,” he said. “We needed this one to show that we are playing the right way and to not stray away from it. Everyone was playing their hearts out tonight and it really showed.”
Vancouver was without a key piece for much of the third. Captain Bo Horvat hobbled to the dressing room in obvious pain after taking a slap shot to the foot midway through the period. He did not return.
Canucks coach Travis Green did not have an update on Horvat’s condition post-game.
The win snapped a two-game skid for the Jets, who had their only back-to-back losses of the season against Edmonton last week.
Stastny sealed the win with a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that sailed past Demko with three minutes left on the clock.
Lowry buried his second of the night 8:42 into the final period. Demko stopped a shot from Andrew Copp but couldn’t control the rebound and the puck landed on Lowry’s stick. He quickly popped it into the net to give the Jets a 3-0 lead.
Lowry had given the Jets some breathing room earlier in the third with a shot from the dot that hit Canucks defenseman Travis Hamonic in the shoulder and ricocheted into the Vancouver net, putting Winnipeg up 2-0.
A turnover in the Jets end led to Winnipeg’s first goal of the game.
Wheeler picked the puck off Canucks defenseman Alex Edler and streaked down the ice on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Stastny.
Vancouver’s Nate Schmidt dropped to the ice in front of the crease in an attempt to stop a pass, but Wheeler kept the puck and slipped a shot through Demko’s legs to give the Jets a 1-0 lead 9:41 into the opening period.
The Jets dominated play through much of the second, allowing the Canucks just six shots on goal.
NOTES: Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play. … Canucks center Brandon Sutter missed the game with an undisclosed injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Tyler Graovac. … Earlier Monday, Vancouver claimed center Travis Boyd off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The teams complete a two-game set on Wednesday night.