Hellebuyck helps Jets weather storm to spur blowout win over Senators

Paul Stastny, Dylan DeMelo and Blake Wheeler scored second-period goals to anchor the Winnipeg Jets’ 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

Stastny, Ehlers and Wheeler scored after Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 18 shots in a scoreless first period. The Jets (8-4-1) improved to 4-0 this season against Ottawa (2-12-1) as the two teams square off again Saturday.

Mathieu Perreault and Neal Pionk had the other goals for Winnipeg.

Josh Norris scored the lone goal for the Senators, who outshot the Jets 42-26.

Ottawa was minus defenceman Artem Zub, who was out for “precautionary reasons” after an inconclusive COVID-19 test. The Senators said prior to the contest Zub’s inconclusive test result came back Thursday after testing negative Wednesday.

WATCH | Jets surge past Senators:

Winnipeg beats Ottawa 5-1, Matt Murray pulled after allowing 3 goals on 15 shots. 0:53

Josh Brown dressed in Zub’s place. Zub, a 25-year-old rookie, has played six games with Ottawa, recording two assists.

The NHL has postponed 35 games this season, but the seven Canadian teams in the North Division have yet to see their schedule interrupted.

Ottawa controlled a scoreless first period, outshooting Winnipeg 18-6. The Jets went ahead 1-0 just eight seconds into the second when Stastny registered his third of the season.

Ehlers gave Winnipeg a 2-0 advantage with his first ninth of the year. He deflected a Dylan DeMelo blast from the point past Ottawa goalie Matt Murray at 7:53. DeMelo was originally credited with the goal before an official scoring change.

WATCH | 9 biggest NHL pests ever… in 90 seconds:

Matthew Tkachuk has spent the season driving players crazy, but he is far from the first to do it. Rob Pizzo looks at 9 other players who got under their opponents skin. 2:03

Wheeler made it 3-0 with an unassisted power-play goal at 19:34, his fourth of the season. But as the period ended Murray appeared to be shaken up and wasn’t on the bench to start the third as backup Marcus Hogberg went in goal.

Perreault beat Hogberg at 2:58 to put Winnipeg ahead 4-0 with his second of the year. Norris scored Ottawa’s goal at 11:42, his third, before Pionk countered with his first of the season at 13:45.