Connor Hellebuyck has 29-save shutout as Winnipeg Jets blank St. Louis Blues 3-0

Connor Hellebuyck perfect in Jets' 3-0 win

WINNIPEG — Connor Hellebuyck knows his Winnipeg Jets don’t have much room for error. So he made no mistakes on Friday night.

Hellebuyck stopped all 29 shots he faced as the Jets shut out the St. Louis Blues 3-0 for a crucial win in the NHL’s Western Conference post-season chase.

“It’s huge. It’s a four-point game and we’re kind of chasing them right now,” said Hellebuyck. “We do want to make the playoffs, and that’s our goal here so this is another good step in the right direction.”

The Jets’ (29-30-6) victory moves them to within three points of the Blues (31-27-5), and four points of the Los Angeles Kings who hold the final wild-card spot in the West.

“The importance of this game was evident throughout these last two days of practice,” said Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler, who scored his 18th and 19th goals of the season. “After that (6-5 loss to Minnesota on Tuesday), there was a sour taste in the room. We didn’t really play our best game but had an opportunity to try and salvage something.

“This time of year you can’t miss out on those opportunities.”

Wheeler’s winner came on a first-period power play, as the Jets handed the Blues their fifth-consecutive loss. Bryan Little added an empty-netter for his 18th of the season with 2:16 remaining in regulation before Wheeler scored his second of the game into an empty net.

Winnipeg finished the night 1 for 5 on the power play, while St. Louis went 0 for 3.

“I thought it looked good,” said Wheeler of the Jets’ power play. “The goal was great but the other power plays were probably even more dangerous. We had ample scoring opportunities. That’s what a power play is supposed to look like right there in terms of creating scoring chances, creating shots, and creating momentum for your team. You come off two minutes where you have them in their zone and their goalie has to make some big saves and the rink seems to tilt in your favour.”

Hellebuyck improved his record to 21-15-3 in his ninth straight start in goal for the Jets. Blues goalie Carter Hutton made 37 saves to fall to 9-8-2 on the year.

“He’s fantastic,” said Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo of Hutton. “You feel bad for him when he plays that way when we don’t even score a goal and he lets in one goal. Great effort from him. He was outstanding, like he usually is.”

Hutton has been superb in 2017, entering Friday with shutouts in his previous two starts, while also recording perfect outings in four of his previous eight starts dating back to Jan. 14.

“I think we need to be a lot better defensively,” said Hutton. “We gave up a lot of good chances. Any time you’re giving up, I don’t know how many shots they ended up with, but that’s not good enough.”

“We’re playing a desperate hockey team and they showed they wanted it a lot more than us tonight.”

Winnipeg is right back at it Saturday night against the Avalanche, with four games remaining on their longest home stand of the season — six games — as they host Colorado, San Jose, Pittsburgh, and Calgary through next weekend.

The Blues, sitting one point out of the wild card, complete their three game road trip with visits to Colorado on Sunday and Minnesota on Tuesday.

Darrin Bauming, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna community bike ride raises $120,000 for charity

Money from the Payton & Dillon Budd Memorial Ride went to the Canadian Mental Health Association

More road closures planned due to construction in Kelowna

Hart Road and Grantham Road in Kelowna will be closed beginning Thursday

Okanagan College culinary students experience local Indigenous flavours

Traditional Okanagan-Syilx styles were taught by Westbank First Nation Elders

Multi-Generational Activity Centre is officially underway in Lake Country

Federal government provides an extra $585k to support the project

Kelowna’s homeless population doesn’t have much hope of finding a bed at a shelter

Central Okanagan Journey Home Society says 300 people waitlisted for supportive housing

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Penticton baby suffers injuries from fall

Emergency crews responded to a report of a fall at a residence at 4 p.m. on June 26

Explicit sex-ed guide for adults mistakenly given to Creston elementary students

The booklet clearly states online and inside that the guide contains sexually explicit information

Driver has $240K McLaren impounded minutes after buying it in West Vancouver

Officers clocked the car travelling at 160 km/h along Highway 1 in a 90 km/h zone

Public tip leads to seizure of drugs and weapons in North Okanagan

Concerned citizen spots male sleeping in car in residential area

Still months of investigation left into South Okanagan murders

Penticton came to a standstill on April 15, when John Brittain allegedly shot and killed four people

Former Vernon Judo coach pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Bryan Jeffrey McLachlan is set to return to court Sept. 4 for sentencing

B.C. Olympic skier sues Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

Most Read