Connor Hellebuyck records 35th career shutout as Jets blank Sharks

Morgan Barron scored the lone goal and Connor Hellebuyck made 18 saves as the Winnipeg Jets blanked the San Jose Sharks 1-0.

WINNIPEG — Connor Hellebuyck registered 17 saves in a 1-0 shutout over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, but Mark Scheifele could have been credited with one of those.

The Winnipeg Jets centre got behind Hellebuyck in net and stopped a backhand shot by Sharks forward Anthony Duclair that could have tied the game. 

“(The puck) kind of hit me first and then kind of came over. Then I got it with my hand,” Scheifele said, noting he didn’t close his hand on the puck.

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“Just a great save. Bucky owes me one.”

The second-period play was reviewed and it was confirmed the puck didn’t cross the line before it hit Scheifele.

The score remained 1-0 from a Morgan Barron first-period goal.

Hellebuyck recorded his third shutout of the season and 35th of his career. 

He also registered his 30th consecutive game of allowing three or fewer goals against, becoming the 10th different goaltender in NHL history to achieve that mark in the regular season.

It was Winnipeg’s (32-14-5) second straight victory after losing a season-high five in a row.

Barron was impressed how Scheifele came to Hellebuyck’s aid. 

“Actually, one of the refs came over and I heard him tell Scheif, ‘Smart play not to close your glove on it,’ because he just swatted it away rather than closing his hand on it,” Barron said.

“That’s what smart players do and he made a really good defensive play.”

Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 39 shots for the Sharks (14-33-5), who last played Jan. 31 and are 4-2-2 in their last eight games. 

“They’re a pretty high-shot volume team but, overall, I think what we did well was even though they got a lot of shots on net, I think we boxed out,” Kahkonen said. “We kind of kept them outside so that was good for me.”

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The teams put up some interesting streaks for shots on goal in the first period and early into the second.

The Sharks had four shots by the 4:35 mark of the opening frame and the Jets zero. 

Winnipeg then rattled off 15 straight shots on goal, with Barron scoring on the 13th one at 17:23 after Neal Pionk’s shot was tipped by Adam Lowry and then deflected off Barron.

Barron’s goal was his ninth of the season, setting a career-high in his 51st game. He had eight goals through 70 games last season.

Winnipeg added two more shots to finish the frame 15-4 in shots on goals. 

The Jets got one more shot early in the second period before San Jose recorded its fifth one at 1:30, going a span of 16:55 without a shot on goal.

Jets forward Nino Niederreiter had four good chances to score in the second but was denied by Kahkonen.

“You could see there were a lot of missed opportunities for us to generate way more offence than we did,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. 

“It looked like we tried to do the right thing, but we just weren’t. Our timing was off for sure, and obviously Kaapo played well but we just weren’t efficient with the puck tonight.”

Winnipeg led 31-12 in shots on goal after the middle frame. 

San Jose forward Nico Sturm went slowly to the dressing room 8:50 into the third after he was checked hard into the boards by Jets defenceman Logan Stanley and his head hit the ice. Quinn had no update.

NOTES

The Jets are 8-for-8 on the penalty kill in past three games. … Winnipeg has gone eight consecutive games without scoring on the power play (0-for-21). … San Jose has not allowed a power-play goal in its past five games, going 12-for-12. … It was the first game this season that the Jets had a completely healthy roster with no one on the injured-reserve list. … San Jose was without forwards Logan Couture (groin) and Tomas Hertl, who had knee surgery Monday to clean up cartilage, but forward Mikael Granlund was back after missing the previous six games.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Travel to Calgary for a Thursday game against the Flames. 

Jets: Play in Vancouver Saturday against the Canucks. 

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