Hellebuyck helps Jets beat Blues
WINNIPEG — For the second straight game, Connor Hellebuyck stood on his head to backstop the Jets to a 4-2 NHL victory over the St. Blues on Tuesday night.
Hellebuyck stopped 18 of 20 shots, including two clearcut breakaways by St. Louis forward Jordan Kyrou, for Winnipeg (3-3-0) before 11,136 fans at Canada Life Centre. Excluding the pandemic, it was the Jets’ lowest attendance ever.
“(Hellebuyck) made some good saves, some really good saves,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. “We missed some wide-open nets, didn’t get them in there. To me, he made big saves, but we didn’t make it hard enough on him.”
It was the Jets first game without head coach Rick Bowness, who took a leave of absence after his wife, Judy, suffered a seizure on Sunday. She has since been sent home.
Interim Jets coach Scott Arniel was asked if the team dedicated the game to Rick and Judy Bowness.
“They talked about making sure they got out and not let him down,” Arniel said. “They wanted to do it for all of the right reasons. Like we said, we’re a family here and we care about each other, and they care about Rick and Judy.
"They wanted to put their best foot forward and I thought they did a great job of it. I said this morning, big divisional opponent and our first opponent of the year and it’s a big one.”
“This game certainly is dedicated to them,” he said. “Bones (Bowness) knows that we are all here for him and we are all here for Judy as well. We are happy that she is doing better. Obviously, there is a bit of recovery ahead, but Bones knows that we are going to do our job here. We are going to play as hard as we can for him and her.
“We are going to keep this thing going and whenever the time is right for Bones to come back and Judy is 100 per cent healthy, then that day will come. But, right now, we are just praying for him, thinking about him. We still have a job to do. It’s tough. It’s how the world works sometimes, but you can call this win for her, for sure.”
Thomas had pulled St. Louis to within 3-2 with Binnington pulled for an extra attacker with 3:33 left in the game. But Barron salted the game away on set-up from centre Mark Scheifele.
“As a whole, I thought we did a lot of real good things,” Arniel said. “We talked this morning about how good St. Louis is on the rush and we saw that, especially the top line.
"They had five or six chances there through the first two periods. We kind of got that straightened away a little bit in the third, we did a little better job of keeping them in front of us.
"At the end of the day, we've always talked about playing tight games, 2-1 games, and finding ways to finish them off. That's where we were going into the third period and we did a great job of winning it.”
During the first period, the Jets announced that Judy Bowness, Rick’s wife, is home from the hospital and resting. … Winnipeg centre Mark Scheifele was riding a five-game point streak heading into Tuesday’s game. It was the first time he had ever started a season with a five-game point streak. The Jets record is eight games (Blake Wheeler). … Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey had five assists heading into the game, which had tied him for first among NHL defencemen. … Winnipeg forward Nikolaj Ehlers needed just two points to reach 400 in his career. … Former Winnipeg Jets captain Keith Tkachuk was one of three players recently named to the Blues Hall of Fame.
The Jets head to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Thursday night, while the Blues travel to Calgary to face the Flames the same night.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 24, 2023.