Blake Wheeler scored four goals against Columbus, and it was the Winnipeg captain’s prettiest of the evening — a well-placed shot on an odd-man rush late in the game — that really deflated the Blue Jackets.
The goal off Patrik Laine’s feed with 2:13 left put the Jets up 4-2, and Wheeler added an empty-netter with 34 seconds left on the way to a 5-2 win at Columbus on Sunday.
Wheeler was in the right place at the right time on the first two goals, deflecting home teammates’ shots from the point.
“You want to contribute,” said Wheeler, who has 80 points this season. “That’s the biggest thing. That’s the goal for our line every night is to contribute in some fashion. Obviously, the score sheet is part of our job, (but) I think we pride ourselves on all the little details of the game.”
Connor Hellebuyck had 40 saves, and Sami Niku also scored for the Jets, who won their second straight and stayed in first place in the Central Division despite being outshot by Columbus 42-26.
“There has been, it seems, a decent adjustment by our forwards of putting pucks to the net, and Blake leads all the things we do,” Winnipeg head coach Paul Maurice said. “He knows what playoff hockey is all about, he knows we have to get the puck to the net, and he knows our forwards have to go to the net.”
Capitals 3, Rangers 2: Alex Ovechkin was credited with the winning goal in the shootout when a video review determined that goalie Alexandar Georgiev threw his stick at the puck, allowing Washington to win in New York. “I know 100 percent it’s a goal,” Ovechkin said. “I was surprised of the first reaction of the referees. It was nice we have replay.”
Golden Knights 3, Canucks 0: Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 19 shots for his second consecutive shutout and NHL-best eighth of the season for host Vegas. With his 436th win, Fleury moved one behind Jacques Plante for eighth on the NHL’s career list.
Ducks 2, Avalanche 1: A day after signing a five-year, $26.5 million extension, Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist and host Anaheim snapped a five-game losing streak.
Predators 3, Wild 2: Ryan Johansen scored in the fourth round of the shootout as visiting Nashville snapped Minnesota’s five-game winning streak.
Senators 3, Panthers 2: Rudolfs Balcers scored a tie-breaking goal in the second period, helping visiting Ottawa snap a seven-game losing streak. Florida has lost four in a row.
Flyers 4, Islanders 1: Brian Elliott stopped 29 shots and visiting Philadelphia won for the fourth time in five games.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sharks/article/Blake-Wheeler-s-4-goals-help-Jets-beat-Blue-13660314.php.