Anthony Cirelli scores first career hat trick, Lightning beat Jets 7-1

The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG — Anthony Cirelli had shaving cream on his ear, hair and T-shirt. He didn't mind, though. 

The foam was part of the celebration his Tampa Bay Lightning teammates gave him Friday after he scored his first career hat trick in a 7-1 routing of the Winnipeg Jets.

“Yeah they were pretty excited,” said Cirelli, who's in his third NHL season. “I can’t really hear right now because it’s still in my ear, but I like to have some fun with it and it feels good.”

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Cirelli scored twice in the first period against goalie Connor Hellebuyck and his third goal went by Laurent Brossoit to make it 6-1 at 7:48 of the third.

On his third goal, Cirelli had lost control of the puck but regained it. He said he was going to pass to Tyler Johnson when the puck bounced in off the stick of Jets defenceman Dmitry Kulikov.

“You know, they don’t come around a lot in this league and it’s super hard,” Cirelli said of a hat trick. “So I will take anything that I can get. Like I said, it was a lucky bounce to hit his stick and go in.”

Nikita Kucherov scored twice and Carter Verhaeghe and Alex Killorn also had goals for Tampa Bay (29-15-4), which was coming off a 3-2 loss to Minnesota on Thursday night. Ondrej Palat picked up three assists and Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point each contributed a pair.

Jack Roslovic scored for the Jets (25-19-4), who ended a three-game homestand going 1-2-0. They are 3-3-0 in their past six games.

“They just got off to a hot start,” Roslovic said of the visitors. “Brush it off and get ready for a big road trip.”

Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 30 saves to record his 10th straight victory, matching the longest win streak of his NHL career. He had 10 consecutive wins from Feb. 9 to March 5, 2019.

“I know we had a 3-0 lead after one (period), but you knew a proud team over there was going to push at home,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said.

“(Winnipeg) got 18 shots and (Vasilevskiy) stood tall the whole time, so it gives you a little breathing room when you come to the end of the second knowing we've got him back there making the saves. He's a big part of this run we're on.”

After having a 10-game win streak end, the Lightning are 2-2-0 in their last four games. Kucherov has five goals in his past three games.

Hellebuyck was pulled midway through the second period after allowing five goals on 12 shots. Brossoit replaced him and made 12 saves.

Tampa Bay led 3-0 after seven shots on goal in the first period. Winnipeg had five shots.

The scoring opened with Palat passing back to a trailing Cirelli, and he slapped the puck by Hellebuyck at 9:27 of the first.

A shot by Jets leading-scorer Kyle Connor hit a goal post minutes later.

“There’s a bunch of guys that got hung for big ones, and if they didn’t it’s because the puck didn’t go inside the post, it went outside the post,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “Nobody was any good tonight, coach included.”

Kucherov and Stamkos paired up and went in alone on Hellebuyck, with Kucherov recording his 21st goal of the season at 12:21.

Palat fed Cirelli again and he sent a backhand by Hellebuyck at 19:07.

Kucherov scored his 22nd of the season at 7:21 of the second and Verhaeghe made it 5-0 at 11:10, sending Hellebuyck to the bench.

Roslovic put one past Vasilevskiy after Mathieu Perreault intercepted a Tampa Bay pass near the front of the net and fed him for a quick shot at 11:44.

Winnipeg was outshooting the visitors 23-16 after the middle period.

After Cirelli's third goal, Killorn scored his 20th of the season to make it 7-1 at 10:45.

A goal by Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers with 3:20 left was disallowed for goaltender interference by Nicholas Shore.

“We had a stinker, and we’ve got to move on,” Jets centre Mark Scheifele said.

Winnipeg travels to Chicago for a game Sunday. Tampa Bay begins its all-star break and doesn't play again until Jan. 27 in Dallas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2020.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

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