Wheeler picks up a handful
WINNIPEG Blake Wheeler took a pass on soaking up praise after his career-high five-point performance on Friday.
The Winnipeg Jets captain scored an empty-net goal and added four assists in a 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche, who have lost five straight.
Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored. Scheifele had a pair of assists.
“When you’re passing it to guys like that, it gives you a level of confidence that kind of changes how you move the puck,” Wheeler said. “If you were passing to somebody that doesn’t have a prayer of putting it in the net, it’s a little bit different than giving it to (Mark) Scheifele or (Patrik) Laine.
“No doubt those guys give me a ton of confidence to find those little seams. And like I said, they need such little space. If I can just squeeze it in there, there’s a good chance it’s going in.”
Wheeler, who had three primary assists, extended his point streak to nine games (two goals, 15 assists). His 18 assists this season are one behind Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen.
Laine and Connor each scored on the power play, giving the Jets (9-5-1) at least one power-play goal in 11 straight games to add to a franchise-record roll.
Defenceman Erik Johnson scored his first goal of the season and Tyson Jost notched his second for the Avalanche (7-6-3), who are (0-4-1) during their losing skid.
BLUE JACKETS 2, CAPITALS 1
WASHINGTON — The Columbus Blue Jackets’ NHLworst power play scored twice and Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves in a win over the Washington Capitals.
MAPLE LEAFS 6, DEVILS 1
TORONTO — John Tavares scored his ninth goal of the season, Patrick Marleau had his 600th NHL assist and Toronto beat New Jersey.
Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown, Andreas Johnsson, Morgan Rielly and Tyler Ennis also scored, and Frederik Andersen made 38 saves.
Travis Zajac scored for New Jersey.
RED WINGS 3, RANGERS 2, OT
DETROIT — Dylan Larkin scored with 5.1 seconds remaining in overtime to lift Detroit past New York.
0 BLUES 4, SHARKS
ST. LOUIS — Chad Johnson made 32 saves for his first shutout with St. Louis, helping the Blues beat San Jose.
Alex Pietrangelo, Ryan O’Reilly, Jaden Schwartz, and Alexander Steen scored. The Blues have won four of five games after winning just two of their first eight to start the season.
Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little (18) works his way around Colorado Avalanche's Nikita Zadorov (16) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg on Friday.