Game Notes: Jan. 4 at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Winnipeg Jets play the second of two road games this week tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins…The Jets have had three days off since a 4-3 win against the Edmonton Oilers on New Year’s Eve…After tonight’s game, the Jets return home to play five of their next six games at Bell MTS Place, beginning on Sunday against the Dallas Stars.  

Game Notes PDF

25 Wins
The Jets won their 25th game of the season in Edmonton on Monday in their 39th game to set a franchise record for fewest games needed to reach 25 wins…Last season, the Jets won their 25th game in their 43rd game, while it took 47 games for the Jets post their 25th win in 2014-15.

On the Road Again
The Jets are 12-6-0 on the road this season and are on a three-game road winning streak…Winnipeg has  won eight of their past nine games away from Bell MTS Place…Winnipeg matched a franchise record with a five-game road winning streak from Nov. 24-Dec. 14…Blake Wheeler (3G, 19A) leads the Jets in scoring on the road with 22 points in 18 games. 

Best Year So Far
The Jets compiled 114 points in the 2018 calendar year by going 54-21-6 in 81 games…Winnipeg was one of three teams in the NHL to reach 114 points or more in the calendar year…It establishes a new benchmark for wins and points in a calendar year since the franchise relocated to Winnipeg in 2011…Winnipeg’s 21 losses in regulation last year were the fewest in the NHL.

2011 38 19 14 5 43
2012 44 18 21 5 41
2013 89 42 39 8 92
2014 77 37 28 12 86
2015 80 41 31 8 90
2016 82 35 39 9 79
2017 83 46 27 10 102
2018 81 54 21 6 114

Lighter Load
After playing 12 games (10-2-0) in 22 days to begin December, the Jets are finishing a stretch of four games in a span of 13 days between Dec. 23-Jan. 4…Winnipeg’s three-day break between games this week is one of two three-day breaks between games in its schedule that isn’t attached to the Global Series, Christmas break, or player break/all-star break…However, tonight begins a run of nine games in 16 days for the Jets leading into the player and all-star break from Jan. 20-27.

Against the East
The Jets are 10-4-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season, including 7-1-0 against the Metropolitan Division…The Jets haven’t played an Eastern Conference team since a 5-4 overtime win against the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning at Bell MTS Place on Dec. 16…Winnipeg went 19-7-6 against the Eastern Conference last season, including a 10-3-3 record versus the Atlantic Division and 9-4-3 record against the Metropolitan Division…Blake Wheeler leads the Jets with 21 points (1G, 20A) in 15 games against the Eastern Conference, while Mark Scheifele has 19 points (11G, 8A) in 15 games…Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck is 7-4-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 11 games against the Eastern Conference this season.

Seeing Stars
The NHL announced the rosters for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game yesterday and Jets forwards Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele were selected to the Central Division team…Wheeler, who is making his second consecutive all-star appearance, leads the Jets and is tied for ninth in the league in points (50) and also leads the Jets and ranks third in the NHL in assists (44)…Scheifele is making his first all-star appearance and is second on the Jets in points (49), goals (22), and assists (27)…He is also in the top 15 in the NHL in goals and points…Forward Patrik Laine is on a Last Man In ballot, as fans vote on the final member of each all-star team…If the Jets retain their first place standing in the Central Division through the halfway point of the season, head coach Paul Maurice will be selected as the coach of the Central Division team.

Two for Lemieux
Brendan Lemieux had two goals on Monday against Edmonton, which doubled his career goal total and was the first multi-goal game of his career…Lemieux’s second goal of the game was also the first game-winning goal of his career…The Jets have had six players score multiple goals in a game this season, led by Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele, who each have five multi-goal games.

Connor Hellebuyck won his 100th career game on Monday against the Oilers…He reached the milestone in 179 games, which the fourth fastest in NHL history by an American born goaltender…Hellebuyck is second all-time in franchise wins, behind Ondrej Pavelec’s 152 victories…Hellebuyck’s .644 winning percentage is first in franchise history among goaltenders that have made 100 starts.

Increased Production
Brandon Tanev netted his eighth goal of the season on Monday, which matches the eight goals he had last season in 61 games…He needs four more assists and points to match the career high 10 assists and 18 points he had last season…Tanev’s ice time has also increased from an average of 12:40 per game last season to 14:11 this season.

Jets vs. Penguins All-Time Records
Overall: 15-39-8
At Bell MTS Place: 4-5-1

PPG Paints Arena: 0-8-2 

2018-19 Game Log vs. Penguins

Date Location Score Rec Scorers Goaltender
Nov. 27 Winnipeg 4-3 L 0-1-0 (13-8-2) Tanev (4), Scheifele (12, 13) Hellebuyck (26 sv, 4 ga)
Jan. 4 Pittsburgh        

Jets vs. Penguins Notes

  • The Jets are 1-3-2 in the past six games against the Penguins.
  • Winnipeg has not won back-to-back games against Pittsburgh since relocation.
  • The Jets franchise has never won a game at PPG Paints Arena. It’s the only NHL arena in which the team has not posted a victory.
  • Last season’s 7-1 win against the Penguins in Winnipeg on Oct. 29/17 was the Jets’ largest margin of victory against Pittsburgh in franchise history.
  • The Jets have scored just one goal in three of their last seven games against the Penguins.
  • Blake Wheeler leads the Jets in scoring against the Penguins with 24 points (10G, 14A) in 30 career games.
  • Mark Scheifele is averaging better than a point per game against the Penguins with 11 points (4G, 7A) in 10 career games, including eight points (3G, 5A) in his last five games against Pittsburgh.

Jets-Penguins Connections

  • Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler and Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel are former teammates on both the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers (2005-06) and Boston Bruins (2008-09).
  • Jets defenceman Josh Morrissey played with Penguins goaltender Matt Murray at the 2012 U-18 World Championship.
  • Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, defenceman Jacob Trouba and forward Mark Scheifele played with Murray at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, while Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien played with Pittsburgh’s Jack Johnson for USA at the event.
  • The Penguins’ Tanner Pearson and the Jets’ Mark Scheifele are both from Kitchener, ON and both played together for the Barrie Colts during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

Upcoming Milestones

Dustin Byfuglien

  • Needs one more game played to reach 600 as a member of the Jets franchise.
  • Needs one shorthanded assist to tie Marty Reasoner and Patrik Stefan (7) for the second-most shorthanded assists in franchise history.

Kyle Connor

  • Needs 10 points to reach 100 for his NHL career.

Nikolaj Ehlers

  • Needs two penalty minutes to reach 100 for his career.

Bryan Little

  • Needs four points to reach 500 for his NHL career.

Tyler Myers

  • Needs eight points to reach 100 as a member of the Jets.

Blake Wheeler

  • Needs four games played to reach 600 as a member of the Jets franchise.
  • Needs one multi-goal game to pass Marian Hossa and take sole possession of third in multi-goal games in franchise history. They are both currently at 21.
  • Needs one shorthanded assist to tie Marty Reasoner and Patrik Stefan (7) for the second-most shorthanded assists in franchise history.