Coyotes falter to surging Jets, Dylan Guenther scores in season debut
Jan 7, 2024, 8:00 PM | Updated: 8:28 pm
(Photo by Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Winnipeg Jets have one of the NHL’s best defensive teams, superb goaltending, multiple scoring threats and more points than any team in the league.
Mark Scheifele scored two goals, Connor Hellebuyck stopped 15 shots and the Jets extended their points streak to 12 games with a 6-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday night.
“They’re a really good team,” Coyotes coach André Tourigny said. “They’re not just a good team, they play maybe the best hockey in the NHL. They’re really stingy and poised with the puck.”
One of the NHL’s best defensive teams, Winnipeg shut down the Coyotes most of the night, holding them to four shots until Nick Schmaltz scored midway through the second period.
Hellebuyck was sharp after being named to his fourth-career All-Star game on Thursday and the Jets finished with a 36-17 advantage in shots. Winnipeg has allowed three goals or fewer in a franchise-record 29 straight games and leads the NHL with 56 points.
Vladislav Namestnikov, Cole Perfetti, Adam Lowry and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored in Winnipeg’s sixth straight win. The Jets’ points streak (10-0-2) is their longest since joining the NHL as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999-00.
“A lot a lot of good efforts each and every night, and when when some guys don’t have it, other guys pick them up,” Scheifele said. “It’s been it’s been a special ride so far.”
Arizona’s Dylan Guenther scored in the third period of his 2023-24 debut and Karel Vejmelka stopped 29 shots. The Coyotes have lost three straight since winning six of seven.
Dylan Guenther picks the goalie’s pocket then tucks it in his season debut! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/oSaYNXVNQx
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 8, 2024
“They make it really tough, but I did not like the way we stayed with when when we had some adversity,” Tourigny said. “I think it’s out of character for us.”
The Jets spent long stints in Arizona’s end in the first period, including a pair of power plays, but couldn’t get anything past Vejmelka in 11 shots.
Namestnikov broke through late in the period, beating Vejmelka to the stick side after a giveaway behind the goal by Arizona’s Sean Durzi went right out in front.
Ehlers made it 2-0 early in the second period, beating Vejmelka from the high slot after the puck caromed off teammate Dylan Samberg’s skate.
Schmaltz capitalized on one of Arizona’s few good scoring chances in the second period, scoring from the low left circle on a feed from Clayton Keller.
Perfetti put the Jets back up two goals late in the second period by punching in a rebound off his own shot on a delayed penalty.
Arizona turned up the offensive pressure to start the third period, but it turned against them when Scheifele scored on a breakaway to make it 4-1.
Guenther scored on a wraparound after Hellebuyck ventured too far from his crease. Scheifele and Lowry scored late to close out Winnipeg’s third straight five-goal game against Arizona this season.
“We emphasize the pressure over the ice,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said. “They get in the zone, we get on them as quick as we can. We just apply as much pressure as we can all over so they’re not carrying the puck in.”
The Coyotes host Boston on Tuesday night.