Wild snap losing streak with road win over Jets
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Minnesota Wild snapped a five-game winless streak with a 3-1 road win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, Dec. 29.
While three goals aren't exactly an offensive breakout, it was a welcome improvement for the Wild, who had scored five total goals over that 0-4-1 stretch.
The Wild received their opening goal from an unlikely source, as defenseman Matt Bartkowski scored 9:28 into the first period. After playing 28 games with the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate this season, Bartkowski was making his debut in a Minnesota jersey.
It was Bartkowski's first NHL goal since March 25, 2017, when he was a member of the Calgary Flames.
Charlie Coyle added to Minnesota's lead at 2:17 of the second period. The Wild took advantage of a Jets line change to create a passing play between Zach Parise, Luke Kunin and Coyle for the center's sixth goal of the season.
Patrik Laine's 24th goal of the season put the Jets on the board at 7:21 of the third period, with Laine firing in a shot from just outside the circle during a power play. The goal was Laine's first in five games, and it snapped an 0-for-11 streak for Winnipeg with the man advantage.
Eric Fehr scored an empty net goal in the final minute to seal Minnesota's victory.
Parise had two assists. The winger leads all Wild players with 32 points.
Devan Dubnyk saved 26 of 27 shots for his 13th win of the season. Twenty-one of those shots came in the final two periods as the Jets pressed down the stretch.
Dustin Byfuglien didn't return to the game after suffering an apparent leg injury midway through the third period. Byfuglien collided legs with Kunin while the two were fighting for the puck along the boards.
After an 11-2-0 stretch, the Jets are now on a two-game losing streak. Winnipeg scored one or fewer goals for the fourth time in their last five games.
The Wild have now won both meetings with the Jets this season. The Central Division rivals play three more times, with their next game set for Jan. 10 in Saint Paul.