5 things we learned in the NHL: Laine still can’t right himself

Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine. (Trevor Hagan/CP)

Even with Patrik Laine still struggling, the Winnipeg Jets continued to dominate at home, the Ottawa Senators saw an oddly specific streak of theirs snapped and the Anaheim Ducks celebrated “the film that started it all.”

Here are five things we learned in the NHL Tuesday.

Laine continues to struggle even as Jets right themselves

After a three-game blip that saw the Central Division-leading Jets really struggle with a pair of embarrassing 5-2 defeats to the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, the Jets got back to their winning ways Sunday against the Buffalo Sabres and carried that momentum into a hard-fought 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

Mark Scheifele scored his 29th and 30th goals on the season to become the fourth player in Jets history with multiple 30-goal campaigns and Connor Hellebuyck was just strong enough between the pipes, stopping 32 Rangers shots.

One thing that remains a point of concern for the Jets, however, has been the struggles of star sniper Laine, who after scoring an astounding 18 goals in the month of November has only scored four times since, including just once since Jan. 13.

On Tuesday, it was much the same for Laine, as he recorded just two shots on net in 13:02 of ice time and went pointless for the fourth time in five contests.

A win’s a win, no matter who scores, but the Jets can’t realistically expect the likes of a fourth-liner (Andrew Copp) and a third-pairing defenceman (Joe Morrow) to bail them out in situations where they’re down on a regular basis.

That’s what Laine’s role is supposed to be, and at the rate things are going it’s looking more like his white-hot November was the outlier on what, overall, is turning into a disappointing season for him.

Senators can’t even get a small win

When the team you’re cheering for is sitting in dead-last place with only 47 points on the season the way the Senators are this season, there’s not a whole lot to get excited about.

As such, the Senators’ strong penalty kill of late has been something of a point of pride as they were a perfect 16-for-16 over their last eight games. During this stretch, Ottawa went 3-5 (pretty good by this season’s standards) and came into Tuesday’s contest with the Carolina Hurricanes having just won two straight.

Unfortunately, those good vibes were erased as the Hurricanes came into Canadian Tire Centre and made easy work of the host Senators, beating them 4-1, while also ending their penalty-kill streak, going 2-for-4 on the power play.

There weren’t even any small victories to be had in Kanata on Tuesday.

Little-known Heinen continues strong play for Bruins

The Boston Bruins got some bad news Tuesday when it was revealed that leading scorer David Pastrnak would be shelved for at least two weeks after undergoing thumb surgery.

That’s a big loss, and not one that will be replaced until the dynamic winger returns. In the meantime, however, it appears as if Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy may have foreseen a similar situation occurring a few games before and began making the appropriate plans.

Just three games before the Bruins took on the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday evening, Cassidy had begun experimenting with deploying second-year forward Danton Heinen onto the Bruins’ top line alongside stars Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron, while Pastrnak went down to the second line.

In those three games, Heinen tallied two goals and three points, a dramatic increase in productivity over the six goals and five points he had in 49 games prior.

Heinen’s hot streak continued on Tuesday when he found the back of the net once again in the first period, while adding two more helpers, aiding in a 6-3 Boston victory that snapped a seven-game Chicago winning streak.

Heinen had a fairly strong rookie year last season, scoring 16 goals and 47 points in 77 games, but had been struggling in his sophomore follow-up.

Cassidy had originally decided to shuffle his lines in an effort to create more offensive balance, but with Pastrnak going down, his prophetic-looking decision to move Heinen into the top line looks like it will not only help Boston in the short-term, but just may be what Heinen needed to find the old spark that had seemed to be missing in his game all season long.

Blues score a touchdown and make the two-point convert vs. Devils

The St. Louis Blues really had the offence working Tuesday as they laid down an 8-3 beatdown on the New Jersey Devils.

Lots of goals are always a lot of fun. Especially if you’re the person running the team’s social media channel and really want to let the world know just how good your team is.

It can be fun rubbing it in sometimes. And for those wondering, yes, St. Louis did make some oddly-specific history by hanging this crooked number on the Devils.

Ducks host most perfect movie experience

When you’re having a bad season the way the reeling Anaheim Ducks are, then the least you can do is make an effort to entertain.

The Ducks realize this, and while a team that loses doesn’t make for great entertainment, they can still make an effort off the ice. On Tuesday they did exactly that in the most perfect way.

Taking a trip to the Yost Theater in Santa Ana, Calif., the Ducks hosted a special charity viewing party as part of their 25th anniversary celebration for “the film that started it all” — Disney’s The Mighty Ducks.

Fans on hand not only got to relive a beloved hockey classic, they were also treated with an opportunity to meet some of the original cast of the film.

Given the fact this was something planned for the 25th anniversary, this event likely would’ve happened even if Anaheim was playing well. Still, given the misfortune of the club this season, this event is something that could go a long way to help ease that pain that Ducks fans are likely feeling.

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