Laine's sixth hat trick lifts Jets past Canucks 6-3
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — It took 18 games for Winnipeg's Patrik Laine to finally break loose.
After having scored just one even-strength goal heading into Monday's game, Laine recorded a hat trick and led Winnipeg to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Laine put the puck into an empty net with less than two minutes to go seal the victory.
"I'm not going to say it out loud but obviously it's bothering because you're not producing five-on-five," the 20-year-old Laine said.
"But when you stay patient and work hard you are going to get rewarded like I got rewarded tonight. ... And from now on, if I don't score in the next 20 (games) 5-on-5, I am not going to lose it. I am just going to stay patient and keep working hard."
Bryan Little, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor also scored for Winnipeg.
"He is really hard on himself and wants to get better at every aspect of his game," Little said of Laine. "For him it's just staying positive and not being so hard on himself."
Elias Pettersson, Tyler Motte and Nikolay Goldobin scored for Vancouver, which lost its sixth straight game.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots for the Jets. Jacob Markstrom made 43 saves for the Canucks.
The Jets had 49 shots on goal, the most allowed by Vancouver in a game this season.
But Vancouver head coach Travis Green said he still saw positives in his team's performance, especially after going down 4-1 in the second period.
"We made a game of it," Green said. "I didn't expect them to just lay down. We've talked about how we want to play. And part of how we want to play is when it's hard. When you're up against it a little bit, you've got to dig deep and play."
Winnipeg opened the scoring just over a minute in after Markstrom tried to clear the puck along the boards. Little collected the puck at the point and hammered it in as Markstrom slid back into his net.
The Canucks responded with a power-play goal after Dustin Byfuglien was called for slashing.
Goldobin sent a behind-the-back pass to defenseman Ben Hutton, who fed Pettersson. The Canucks' rookie fired a shot past Hellebuyck, tying the game.
Pettersson now has 12 goals in his first 17 NHL games.
Markstrom faced a barrage of 23 shots in the opening period, including a hard wrister from Nikolaj Ehlers that went off his blocker.
The rebound popped out to the side and Scheifele poked it in to give the Jets a 2-1 lead.
Winnipeg added another first-period goal when Connor scored on a power play. Connor's point streak (four goals, three assists) is at five games.
Midway through the second period, Pettersson and Hutton collided while trying to clear the puck from in front of the Vancouver net.
Laine collected the puck and got off a quick wrist shot that sailed past Markstrom to make it 4-1 for the Jets.
Motte got one back for the Canucks, scoring his second goal of the year on a short-handed breakaway.
It was Goldobin who brought Vancouver within one. The right-winger slid the puck across the crease, forcing Hellebuyck to sprawl, then tucked it into the net behind the netminder's skate.
NOTES: Laine registered two goals in the third period for the sixth three-goal game of his career.
Jets: At Calgary on Wednesday.
Canucks: At Anaheim on Wednesday.