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Toffoli, Brossoit help Jets blank Ducks, regain Central lead

Winnipeg Jets celebrate Winnipeg Jets - The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Tyler Toffoli heard the fans roar and it pumped him up.

Toffoli scored his first two goals since being traded to the Winnipeg Jets and Laurent Brossoit made 21 saves for his second shutout of the season in a 6-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"Definitely a special moment and, obviously, nice to get my first one here and, hopefully, keep rolling,” said Toffoli, who was playing his third game since the Jets acquired him from the New Jersey Devils on NHL trade deadline day.

Toffoli could feel he was in the groove — and his teammates, too.

“I should have had four or five there by the end of it,” said Toffoli, who’s up to 28 goals and 46 points in 64 games this season.

“You know what, it was one of those games I thought we played really well. It was just a matter of time before we started kind of piling some on.”

Jets defenceman Dylan DeMelo snapped a 63-game goal drought and added an assist in front of Winnipeg’s fifth sellout crowd of 15,225 fans at Canada Life Centre.

Kyle Connor, Nate Schmidt and Mason Appleton also scored. Josh Morrissey chipped in with three assists and Nikolaj Ehlers had a pair of helpers for the Jets (42-19-5), who’ve gone win, loss, win, loss and win in their past five games.

The victory moved Winnipeg into a three-way tie with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche for first place in the NHL Central Division.

Brossoit’s shutout was his fifth straight victory as a starter (12-4-2). He hasn’t given up a goal in 141 minutes and 40 seconds, dating back to last Friday’s 3-0 shutout of the Seattle Kraken and a 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on March 3.

“It’s feeling pretty good and then, obviously, the team in front of me,” Brossoit said. “I'm going to try not to get too high on these because you know the opponents that I was playing in those two (shutouts)."

The Ducks (23-41-3), who lost 2-0 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, have lost five consecutive games.

John Gibson stopped 32 shots for Anaheim, which has been outscored 27-5 during its losing skid.

“It starts with me,” Ducks forward Troy Terry said. “We’ve just got to start getting more offence. We can't keep making excuses for injuries and missing guys.”

Anaheim head coach Greg Cronin agreed offence is in short supply.

“We won’t shoot the puck. We won’t do it,” Cronin said. “It’s been an ongoing problem. And when we do shoot it, we don’t get it through. It hits a stick or a shin pad and goes the other direction.”

Winnipeg led 1-0 after the first period and 2-0 heading into the third.

Gibson denied Mark Scheifele from close in seven minutes into the first for an 8-1 lead in shots on goal. Scheifele was back in action on his 31st birthday after missing the past game with the flu.

Anaheim went on the game’s first power play less than a minute later, but Frank Vatrano hit the crossbar.

Connor made it 1-0 with his 28th goal of the season when he tipped in a point shot by DeMelo at 16:20.

Schmidt’s power-play shot bounced off two Anaheim players’ skates before going past Gibson at 7:47.

Anaheim went on its third power play two minutes later but came up empty.

DeMelo’s low shot made it 3-0 at 4:59 of the third, notching his second goal of the season. His first goal was on Oct. 14 in Winnipeg’s second game of the season, a 6-4 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Toffoli scored twice in just under three minutes, including one on the power play, to widen the lead to 5-0 at 11:05.

Appleton added a power-play marker with six seconds remaining.


Jets head coach Rick Bowness gave an update about forward Gabe Vilardi after the morning skate and it wasn't good news.

Further tests revealed Vilardi, who was out with an upper-body injury, has an enlarged spleen and there’s no timetable for his return, Bowness said.

Vilardi has missed the past eight games and won’t be on the team’s upcoming five-game road trip. He’s only played 38 of 66 games this season because of other injuries.


Jets: Head out on a season-high five-game road trip beginning Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Ducks: Finish playing four road games in six days Sunday against the St. Louis Blues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2024.