Winnipeg goaltender Laurent Brossoit simply stoned the opposing firepower.
The Jets' backup netminder was brilliant as he stopped 42 of 43 shots — including 15 in the first period — as he backstopped Winnipeg to a 2-1 NHL triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.
“Today, I felt more like myself, more like I did last year,” said Brossoit, who was signed as a free agent during the off-season. “Now, I’m looking to harness that and continue on that path.”
Both Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor notched a goal and an assist for Winnipeg (14-8-2) before 11,468 fans at Canada Life Centre. Mark Scheifele had two helpers.
It was the final instalment of a four-game homestand for Winnipeg, which went 2-2.
“You’re not going to beat that team without great goaltending,” said Jets coach Rick Bowness. “They just throw everything they can at the net from every angle. Again, their forwards are all big, strong and fast and they get in there. They’re tough to defend.
"You’re not going to beat that team without great goaltending with the way that they play.”
Martin Necas replied for Carolina.
Netminder Antti Raanta made 20 saves on 22 shots for Carolina (14-9-1).
Ehlers also credited Brossoit, who made some incredible saves with the Hurricanes pressing late in the third period.
“He was pretty incredible,” Ehlers said. “He stood on his head. … Our goalies have been outstanding all year.”
Ehlers had set Connor up for the opening goal when he passed the puck over a defenceman’s stick to the winger who was alone in front of Raanta. Connor scored on only Winnipeg’s second shot of the game to snap a six-game scoreless streak late in the opening frame.
In the second period, Ehlers scored the game-winning goal when he finished off a pretty three-way passing play with Connor and Scheifele.
“It’s a huge win,” Ehlers said. “After our three-game losing streak there, to get back and get two wins in a row, we needed that. We needed to get back on track and play better.”
Necas got credit for Carolina’s goal when Jets defenceman Dylan DeMelo inadvertently knocked the puck into his own net late in the second period.
“I thought we pretty much dominated the first period and we’re down one,” said Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour. “That’s just the way it goes sometimes. And we weren’t able to get to the back of the net.
"The middle period, we were even and the third period, again, we were pretty good. We had a lot of opportunities, we just weren’t able to find the back of the net.”
Raanta also made a number of great saves, including a stop on Connor on a clear breakaway.
“You can’t fault him on anything,” Brind’Amour said. “He kept us in there and did what he needed to do. Their goalie (Brossoit) was the difference tonight.”
The Jets announced that they had signed forward Nino Niederreiter to a three-year contract extension at a reported $4 million per annum before the game. … The Jets dressed seven defencemen, with Logan Stanley drawing in to replace forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby. … Winnipeg forward Vladislav Namestnikov sat out his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Carolina forward Sebastian Aho had recorded at least a point in four straight games heading into Monday’s contest. He had also scored a goal in two straight outings. … Hurricanes veteran defenceman Brent Burns recorded his 600th NHL career assist in Carolina’s victory over Buffalo in their last outing.
Jets: Head to Colorado to play the Avalanche on Thursday.
Hurricanes: Travel to Edmonton to face the Oilers on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.
Jim Bender, The Canadian Press