Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3
Canucks Sam Gagner looking to resurrect NHL career once again
VANCOUVER — Eighteen games into the season and Winnipeg Jets right-winger Patrik Laine had only scored once at even strength.

Laine led his team to a 6-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks with a hat trick, putting up two even-strength goals and an empty netter.

Will the Canucks’ fortunes turn around when everyone is back? Hard to say. I tend to lean towards not by much, but that’s not positive, right? Preferably, I would want to team to play exciting hockey again while padding the losses column. Just because I want the high pick, doesn’t mean I want them to get obliterated each game. Higher scoring games are more fun and even if the team ends up losing, I think everyone can find enjoyment in that.

Jets 6 Canucks 3: Cup contenders strut stuff, but pushed hard for win

“Im not going to say it out loud but obviously its bothering because youre not producing five-on-five,” the 20-year-old said after the win.

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Laines hat trick lifts Jets past Canucks

“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 dont 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.”

Best of all, the offence is getting the reinforcements it desperately needs. And no, not Sam Gagner. Alex Edler and Brock Boeser are not likely to play against the Jets, but they are very close to returning. The benefits will be reaped on the power play and help the team with their scoring problem.

Laines linemate, Bryan Little, said the Finnish forward is getting back into a grove after a rough start to the season.

“He is really hard on himself and wants to get better at every aspect of his game,” Little said. “For him its just staying positive and not being so hard on himself.”

Video: Patrik Laine lifts Jets with sixth career hatty

Monday was a big night for Laine, Little and left-winger Kyle Connor. Their line combined for nine points.

You wanted positive Vancouver Canucks news? This one is for you. Look, I get that most of what I cover is negative (unless you check out my prospect pieces-which will come out soon this week), and it doesn’t help during this losing streak.

“I always liked playing with those two and we are starting to build some chemistry between the three of us,” said Laine. “And today it was just kind of clicking right off the hop and we just have to keep playing like this. Its hard for opponents to defend against four good lines.”

“Our line is pretty dynamic,” said Connor, whos riding a five-game point streak. “We can score off the rush, we had some good O-zone time too. You never want to be one-dimensional as a player or a line.”

Video: Laines sixth hat trick powers Jets past Canucks, 6-3

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22-of-25 shots for the Jets and Jacob Markstrom made 43 saves for the Canucks.

But, here is some positivity for those who need it. Travis Green provided a long list of updates on his injured players and the team may get the offensive boost it needs sooner rather than later.

The Jets 49 shots on goal were the most Vancouver has allowed in a single game all season and extends the Canucks losing streak to six games. But Vancouver head coach Travis Green said he still saw positives in his teams performance, especially after going down 4-1 in the second period.

“We made a game of it,” Green said. “I didnt expect them to just lay down. Weve talked about how we want to play. And part of how we want to play is when its hard. When youre up against it a little bit, youve got to dig deep and play.”

Positive thoughts would say that this can be a good bonding experience for this team as they try and gel as teammates, but the problem is adding on the injuries. This team has had a tough go again when it comes to injuries. Missing defencemen and centres has turned the Vancouver Canucks from a team that had to scrap to be able to succeed, to a team that needs to scrap to be able to compete.

Video: NHL Highlights | Jets vs. Canucks – Nov. 19, 2018

GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game 23- Canucks vs Winnipeg

The effort gives the Canucks something to build on, said Sam Gagner, who played his first NHL game of the season on Monday. The veteran centre was sent to the American Hockey League to start the campaign.

Ed Willes: Canucks can learn from the Jets flightpath to contender

“Thats got to be our identity, that we just keep coming,” Gagner said. “I think youre not always going to have it but youve got to find a way to get your legs under you and get some energy.”

Both teams are now hitting the road. The Jets will be in Calgary on Wednesday to battle the Flames while the Canucks are off to California, where theyll face the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

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Notes: Laine now has six career hat tricks. Wayne Gretzky is the only NHL player to have posted more three-goal games before his 21st birthday. Gretzky had 12 in his first 210 games. … Injured Canucks defenceman Alex Edler is expected to join his teammates for their upcoming road trip. … Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson now has 19 points in his first 17 NHL games.

There has to be fatigue among the players, as they have been away from home for so long. Playing every second day along with flights and hotels doesn’t make it easy on a team that is already decimated with injuries to topflight contributors. This includes Brock Boeser, Alex Edler and the centre duo of Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle.

Note to readers: This is a corrected version of an earlier story. Elias Pettersson has 12 goals in his first 17 NHL games, not 19 as previously stated.

The Canucks didn’t decide to play 14 of their first 22 games on the road, and surely a homestand would be ideal at this time in the season, but unfortunately that is not the case. After the Canucks home game against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night, the Canucks will take off on a California swing.

Patrik Laine's hat trick lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

The Vancouver Canucks are off to a respectable start to their season, “The Pettersson Elevensson” to begin the year was a dominant start that even had Toronto radio stations talking about the possibility of Elias Pettersson being an early consideration for the Hart Trophy.

The Finnish right winger put the puck into an empty net with less than two minutes to go seal the game.

There’s good reason to believe that the recent slump is due to injuries, lack of depth or a slumping power play. For myself I turn to the schedule, the Canucks have not only played the most games so far this season (22) but they have also played the most road games (14).

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22-of-25 shots for the Jets and Jacob Markstrom made 43 saves for the Canucks.

Against the Habs, the Canucks established a season-high for shots in a period when they peppered Carey Price with 19 in the third period, but managed just Petterssons power play marker. The Canucks made a couple of changes to their power play units and have now cashed in with the man-advantage in three straight games. Petterssons one-timer from the right face-off circle on Saturday was his first power play goal since the night he was injured in Florida on October 13th.

The Jets' 49 shots on goal were the most Vancouver has allowed in a single game all season and extends the Canucks' losing streak to six games.

Brock Boeser will miss an eighth straight game tonight as he deals with a nagging groin issue. Overall, it will be his 10th game of the season that he has been sidelined. He joins Jay Beagle (17), Alex Edler (12), Sven Baertschi (12), Anders Nilsson (11) and Brandon Sutter (10) as players whose injuries have reached double digits in terms of games missed. Edler skated this morning and will travel with the team on its upcoming California road trip.

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 the Vancouver goalie slid back into his net.

The Canucks enjoyed early season success in tight games coming out on top in the first five one-goal contests  they were involved in (against Florida, Pittsburgh, Boston, Vegas and Colorado). They have now dropped their past four one-goal decisions (against Detroit, Buffalo, New York Rangers and Montreal). In all of those losses, the Canucks held leads including third-period leads against the Red Wings, Sabres and Canadiens.

Goldobin got a behind-the-back pass off to defenceman Ben Hutton, who sliced the puck to Pettersson. The Canucks rookie fired a rocket past Hellebuyck, tying the game.

Markstrom faced a barrage of 23 shots in the opening period, including a hard wrister from Nikolaj Ehlers that went off his blocker.

The Jets have been off since Friday when they fell 2-1 in a seven-round shootout at home to the Buffalo Sabres. Kyle Connor opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season. Laurent Brossoit made 31 saves in goal. The loss snapped a three game win streak, but the single point leaves the Jets with a 3-0-1 record in their past four games. They are 9-3-2 in their past 14 since a 2-2 start to the season.

The left-winger is riding a five-game point streak where he's notched four goals and three assists.

The Canucks are 0-4-1 with four straight regulation losses after a 3-2 setback to Montreal on Saturday. Elias Pettersson regained the team lead with his 11th goal of the season while Michael Del Zotto scored his first. Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves in his return to the net after serving as the back-up in Minnesota on Thursday. The Canucks are 1-4-2 in their past seven outings.

Midway through the second period, Pettersson and Hutton collided while trying to clear the puck from in front of the Vancouver net.

Laine took advantage of the opportunity, collecting the puck and getting off a quick wristshot that sailed past Markstrom to make it 4-1 for the Jets.

As a team, the Jets arrive in town with the best power play in the NHL (33.3%). They have scored on 17 of 51 opportunities. Interestingly, the Jets are last in the NHL in power play opportunities and with their success, also last in time spent operating with the man-advantage (77:39).

Motte clawed one back for the Canucks, scoring his second goal of the year on a short-handed breakaway.

The Jets are here for just their seventh road game of the season (3-3) – although they did travel to Finland for a two-game series with Florida earlier this month. Winnipeg has played the second most home games in the NHL so far with 12. Only Anaheim has played more.

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.

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