After a seven-day absence with eight players on COVID protocol, the Winnipeg Jets could have forgiven if they failed in Detroit.
Instead, the Jets’ Michigan-born players rose to the occasion and the young, called-up players put in an impressive performance in Winnipeg’s 3-0 win.
Andrew Cobb of Ann Arbor roadside got on the board first, defeating Alex Nedelijkovic from under the goal line. Dylan Samberg earned a play assist for his first NHL point in his first NHL game.
Despite the absence of regular players Nikolai Eilers, Paul Stastney, Brendan Dillon and Logan Stanley, the Jets looked immaculate, and their transition game opened up all sorts of spaces in the first period, but they couldn’t build on their lead.
Just past the halfway point of the second, there was a breakthrough. With the wings on strong play, Shelby Township’s Kyle Connor found a broken streak from Cobb who picked the top shelf to give Winnipeg a 2-0 lead.
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Detroit tried to push in the third inning, but the Jets defense held strong, though with 4:29 remaining, the wings found themselves at 5-on-3 and pulled in the goalkeeper to double the Jets in manpower.
Punishment for murder in Winnipeg got the job done. After killing his first simple penalty, Connor buried a netter blank to take the win. The planes killed all five of Detroit’s plays in the night.
Conor Helbwick stopped out of the trade all 33 picks he’s faced for his second close in the season and the 26th of his career.
Samberg played nearly 18 minutes on his NHL debut, receiving a assist. Declan Chisholm also made his National Hockey League debut on the town, scoring four shots on target at 13:44 ice time.
Cole Perfetti also played his on the streak with Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois while Austin Bojanski played more than 11 minutes on his Jets debut, 24 hours after scoring a goal and adding an assist in the 2-0 win for Manitoba Moss in Milwaukee.
The Jets won’t play again until Tuesday evening in Washington.