The Winnipeg Jets are continuing their high-flying ways earning their sixth win in seven games on Thursday night.
The Jets took on the Sabres in Buffalo and bounced back strong after a 7-5 loss in Detroit on Tuesday night. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck had allowed six goals in that match up, but you would have had no idea watching him play just two nights later.
"He was outstanding tonight," coach Rick Bowness said to reporters after the game. "He was the difference maker."
Hellebuyck made 39 stops in a 4-2 victory over the Sabres. The win came thanks to a Kyle Connor goal in the third which broke a 2-2 tie. Nikolaj Ehlers intercepted Rasmus Dahlin’s pass and sent the puck to Connor, who sprinted up the ice and beat goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen at 7:19 to put the nail in the Sabres' coffin.
All Connor could talk about, though, was the amazing efforts of his goaltender. “It was a great performance. He’s been great all year,” Connor said about Hellebuyck. “I think he’s been great ever since he got into this league and he just continues to show, even after a night like in Detroit, that his confidence never wavers. He comes right back out and plays one of his best games of the year.”
“Hellebuyck looked like a sumo wrestler with athleticism. He was good,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “He was big and solid, and we did have enough opportunity right down to the last one when they got their game-winning goal.”
The Jets have now improved to 27-14-1 on the year and Hellebuyck's record is 21-10-1, with a 2.41 GAA and a .925 save percentage.
The Jets are currently in second place in the Central Division, and eighth overall in the league with 55 points.
They are in action again tonight, taking on Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (21-13-6).