Laine fuels Jets over Stars

The Canadian Press
Judy Owen

WINNIPEG–Patrik Laine promised he’ll do better in the next Winnipeg Jets’ game.
The vow came after the sophomore sniper scored twice yesterday in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The performance tied him with Alex Ovechkin at 43 goals as the top NHL goal scorer, but he said he hopes to vault his boyhood idol when the Jets host the L.A. Kings on Tuesday.
“Like I’ve said before, maybe a week ago, I don’t want to be tied,” Laine said.
“I want to take the solo lead and I’ll try to do that next game.”
Laine also extended his point streak to 15 games. It’s the longest active run in the NHL and adds to his league record for the longest point streak by a teenager.
The streak includes 18 goals and eight assists.
Defenceman Ben Chiarot and Blake Wheeler (empty-netter) also scored for Winnipeg (43-19-10), which sits second in the Central Division seven points ahead of Minnesota.
Mattias Janmark and captain Jamie Benn scored for Dallas (38-27-8).
“Laine did Laine things again against us,” Benn summed up.
The Winnipeg winger now has 14 goals in nine career games against the Stars.
Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for the Jets, who tied a franchise record for wins in a season with 43 in the second of a six-game homestand.
The last time they hit that mark was in 2014-15, when they made the playoffs for the first time since relocating to Winnipeg from Atlanta.
The victory also gave Winnipeg a sweep over the Stars in the teams’ four-game season series.
Goalie Ben Bishop stopped three shots before leaving the game with 9:49 to go in the first period after whipping out his left glove to snag a Bryan Little shot.
Playing his second game after missing five with a knee injury, Bishop stood in the crease bent over before skating off.
Stars’ coach Ken Hitchcock didn’t specify Bishop’s lower-body injury, but said the netminder would be evaluated in two weeks.
Kari Lehtonen replaced Bishop and made 17 saves for the visitors, who finish off a six-game road trip tomorrow in Washington.
Dallas is 0-3-2 so far.
“He stepped up for us, made some huge saves,” Stars’ defenceman John Klingberg said of Lehtonen.
“We know we have two good goalies and they’re probably our best players every night now, so we depend on both of them.”
Winnipeg led 1-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second.
Benn said he took a “stupid” tripping penalty late in the opening period. It also was a costly one.
Laine scored with 0.4 seconds remaining in the first following a supreme effort by Wheeler.
After losing an edge and falling down near the bottom of the right circle, Wheeler swept a one-handed pass through the feet of Stars’ defenceman Dan Hamhuis to Laine out in front and he put a high shot past Lehtonen.
It was Laine’s 19th power-play goal–tops in the NHL.
Wheeler picked up his 61st assist of the season, also a league high.
“It doesn’t matter if he is standing or sitting, he’s going to find me,” Laine said of Wheeler.
“I think it came from the [defenceman’s] skate, that’s what I saw,” he added. “But like I said, he fell down and still found me.
“He’s a special player; he can find those passes.”
Janmark tied it up at 1:13 of the second, but Winnipeg responded 64 seconds later as Chiarot’s one-timer from the point went through traffic.
While Jets’ defenceman Tyler Myers was in the box for roughing, Benn notched his 26th goal–boosting his point streak to four games.
Elsewhere in the NHL, Vegas blanked Calgary 4-0, Tampa Bay beat Edmonton 3-1, Colorado dumped Detroit 5-1, Carolina edged the N.Y. Islanders 4-3, Philadelphia downed Washington 6-3, St. Louis topped Chicago 5-4 (OT), and Anaheim doubled New Jersey 4-2.