Connor’s record 41st winner leads Jets past Lightning 4-2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Kyle Connor set a franchise record with his 41st game-winning goal, scoring on a power play at 5:38 of the third lead as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 on Friday night.
Connor’s record-setting goal moved him past Ilya Kovalchuk for the most winners in Jets-Atlanta Thrashers history.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice and Morgan Barron helped seal Winnipeg’s fourth straight win, scoring short-handed into an empty net with 1:26 remaining.
Connor also had an assist. Josh Morrissey added three assists and Mark Scheifele two. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 26 shots.
Anthony Cirelli had a goal and an assist, and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who finished a three-game trip with a 1-2-0 record. Tampa Bay is 9-9 on the road.
After missing two straight games with an illness, Andrei Vasilevsky stopped 16 of the 19 shots for Tampa Bay.
The Lightning outshot the Jets 12-4 in the first period, but the game was tied 1-all.
Cirelli scored at 11:48, converting a rebound off a Steven Stamkos shot to beat Hellebuyck.
With nine seconds remaining in the period, Dubois tipped in a wrist shot by Connor for his 18th goal of the season.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead at 1:35 of the second when Kucherov’s shot went through Hellebuyck’s pads.
Winnipeg went on an 87-second, two-man advantage at 6:05. The Jets capitalized, this time with Dubois getting a piece of Morrissey’s point shot at 7:05.
The Jets broke the tie with another two-man advantage after Stamkos was sent off for cross-checking at 4:34. Vladislav Namestnikov followed him six seconds later for delay of game.
Connor’s one-timer beat Vasilevsky on the glove side for his 17th of the season.
Stamkos had a great chance to tie it up with about six minutes remaining, but his shot ended up being swiped away from the goal line by Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo.
Connor was called for tripping with 1:52 left and Tampa Bay pulled Vasilevsky for the six-on-four, but Barron spoiled the attack.
Two players and one coach marked milestones Friday.
Dubois played in his 400th NHL career game, while Kucherov skated in his 600th.
Jets head coach Rick Bowness, 67, was behind the bench for his NHL-record 2,600th game, including stints as a head coach, associate coach or assistant coach.
NOTES: The Jets returned four players from the injury list. Nikolaj Ehlers was back after missing 36 games. The forward was hurt in the second game of the season and had sports hernia surgery. Blake Wheeler returned after sitting out nine games following groin surgery. Veteran defenseman Nate Schmidt also missed nine games with an upper-body injury, while rookie forward Cole Perfetti was out five games with a shoulder injury.
Jets: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
Lightning: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.