Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves for his first shutout of the season and captain Blake Wheeler had a goal and three assists as the Winnipeg Jets crushed the Ottawa Senators 5-0 on Sunday.
The victory boosted Winnipeg’s NHL Western Conference-leading record to 17-6-4. Their 38 points also tied them for first overall in the league with idle Tampa Bay, which has a game in hand.
Wheeler’s linemates, centre Mark Scheifele and left-winger Mathieu Perreault, also had a goal each. The trio made up a new top line after Perreault replaced Kyle Connor, who was scratched with a day-to-day undisclosed injury.
Patrik Laine and Tyler Myers also supplied goals for the Jets, who boosted their winning streak at Bell MTS Place to six games (10-2-1). They’re also unbeaten in regulation in their last 10 games at home (9-0-1).
Perreault and Dustin Byfuglien each had a pair of assists. Scheifele added one helper, extending his point streak to four games with nine points off three goals and six assists.
Mike Condon started in net for the Senators (9-10-6), but let in five goals on 22 shots and was replaced by Craig Anderson early in the second period. Anderson made 27 saves the rest of the way.
Scheifele’s 34 points is tied for fifth in NHL scoring, one point back of Wheeler’s fourth-place point total of 35. The captain’s 28 assists lead the league.
Ottawa went back to its losing ways after halting a seven-game winless skid with a 6-5 victory on Friday over the New York Islanders. Defenceman Erik Karlsson’s pointless streak stretched to 10 games.
The Jets led 2-0 after the first period and got a goal on each of their three shots to open the second.
Three of those five goals were with the man advantage, the second straight game Winnipeg has netted a trio of power-play markers.
In the first period, the Senators were called for too many men and paid for it 14 seconds later when Wheeler threaded a cross-ice pass to an open Scheifele at the side of the net, who fired a low shot by Condon at 2:20 for his 14th goal of the season.
Perreault made it 2-0 at 6:00 when Jacob Trouba’s point shot went off him. A minute earlier, Winnipeg native Mark Stone’s shot had went off the cross bar.
The Jets outshot the Sens 19-3 in the opening period.
Wheeler, followed by Laine and Myers with power-play markers 30 seconds apart, made it 5-0 by 6:50 in the second period. Laine was playing his 100th NHL career and Myers his 500th.
Ottawa’s costly penalties included cross-checking by Dion Phaneuf and an unsportsmanlike conduct by its bench.
Stone was also denied by Hellebuyck on a shot from the side of the net in the second.