Connor Hellebuyck stops 26 shots as Jets beat Sabers

November 18 – Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves to help the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-2 win against the visiting Buffalo Sabers on Friday.

Hellebuyck’s 246th win tied Jimmy Howard for eighth on the NHL’s all-time wins list among American-born goaltenders.

Nino Niederreiter and Vladislav Namestnikov each had two assists for the Jets.

Alex Tuch and JJ Peterka scored, and Eric Comrie made 15 saves for the Sabres, who lost three in a row for the first time this season.

Cole Perfetti scored for the fifth straight game to put Winnipeg ahead 1-0 at 2:12 of the second period. Namestnikov received a long pass from Neal Pionk across the offensive blue line before sending a short pass to Perfetti, who took it to the high slot and beat Comrie’s stick side.

He became the second player in franchise history to record a streak of five consecutive goals at age 21 or younger after Patrik Laine.

Mason Appleton pushed the score to 2-0 at 4:33. Adam Lowry received a pass from Pionk but couldn’t corral it and it bounced to Niederreiter, who quickly handed it off to Appleton running down the opposite side for the tap-in.

Tuch answered for the Sabers 23 seconds later. Jeff Skinner’s shot attempt from the left circle hit Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon’s stick and Hellebuyck poked the loose puck away, but Tuch was there to scoop it up in the slot and cut the score to 2-1.

Nikolaj Ehlers made it 3-1 at 8:12 when he sent a floater from the point into the net that appeared to deflect off Buffalo defenseman Owen Power’s hand and past Comrie’s glove.

Peterka brought the visitors within one at 1:00 of the third period. Rasmus Dahlin sent a stretch pass to the end for a breakaway at the Jets blue line. Peterka’s initial shot was stopped but he quickly got his stick out on the rebound to narrow the score to 3-2.

Dahlin’s assist was the 245th of his NHL career, tying him with Rasmus Ristolainen for sixth among defensemen in Sabers history.

–Average field level

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