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Winnipeg Jets Three Stars in 3-1 Win Over the Buffalo Sabres

The Winnipeg Jets got a much-needed victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. Who were the stars of the game?

The Winnipeg Jets skated to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on home ice on Tuesday night. Jets forward Kyle Connor had three points (two goals and an assist) to help his team beat the Sabres.

Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.

Andrew Copp had an assist to end his five-game pointless streak.

Mark Scheifele scored a power-play assist. It was his first power-play point since February 20; however, in his last eight games, he’s scored five goals and seven assists. He’s also averaged almost 22 minutes (21:51) of ice time.

And Tucker Poolman scored a short-handed goal when he re-directed a Connor centering pass. It was the game-winning goal. In his first full season with the Jets, the 26-year-old Poolman hasn’t yet been able to show the offense he displayed at an NCAA player at the University of North Dakota. He’s only scored three goals and 14 points in 54 games this season.

Related: Winnipeg Jets News & Rumors: Bitetto, Shore, Bourque, Shaw, Wheeler, Connor, Laine & Hellebuyck

Stars of the Game

First Star: Kyle Connor

Connor carried the offense throughout the game. He had both a power-play and an even-strength goal and set up a goal. He hit his career-high of 35 regular-season goals when he scored on the power play.

Connor was in on every Winnipeg goal. He scored the team’s first goal of the game with 6:01 left in the first period and assisted on the Poolman short-handed goal two minutes later. Connor ended the scoring with the man advantage early in the second period.

The 23-year-old Connor has scored in three straight games and his three-point night gave him 70 points on the season.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler had this to say about his prolific teammate:

”The kid’s scored 30 in the league every year so far. I don’t know how much blossoming he needs. We talked about it the other day and he had something like 70-something points and I don’t know how many goals in college hockey. Those are freak-show numbers. I played college hockey and it’s not easy to go out there and get two points a game, almost, in that league.”

Wheeler added: ”I think, offensively, you saw that Kyle was a really gifted player around the net. What’s transformed him into one of the more elite players in the league is his compete in and out of every shift. There aren’t any lulls in Kyle’s game anymore.”

Second Star: Connor Hellebuyck

Connor Hellebuyck struggled against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday’s Hockey Night in Canada when he gave up three goals on only 22 shots in a 3-2 loss. However, 26-year-old goalie bounced back nicely against the Sabres squad and stopped 25 pucks in the 3-1 victory.

Prior to the Sabres’ win, he had lost three of his last four games. Were it not for the Sabres’ Rasmus Ristolainen surprising him, it might have been a shutout. Hellebuyck’s record has now improved to 28-21-5 with a goals-against-average of 2.64 and a .920 save percentage.

Third Star: Blake Wheeler

Blake Wheeler is piling up points and scored two more assists against the Sabres. He assisted Connor’s first goal of the game and then assisted on Connor’s power-play goal in period two. Wheeler has now had four assists in his last three games and has scored in seven of his last eight games. H now has scored 21 goals and had 40 assists in 68 games this season.

Related: Winnipeg Jets’ Prospect Jansen Harkins: How’s He Doing?

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