Connor, Ehlers lead Winnipeg Jets to 5-1 win over Chicago Blackhawks

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WINNIPEG — Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers each scored a goal and had an assist for the Winnipeg Jets in a 5-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Paul Stastny, Neal Pionk and Dominic Toninato also scored for Winnipeg (6-2-2) in a fourth straight win at home.

Andrew Copp assisted on three goals for the Jets, who have posted their best start to a regular season in the team's modern era. Winnipeg's starter Eric Comrie stopped 16 of 17 shots in the win.

MacKenzie Entwistle scored short-handed in the third period for Chicago's only goal of the game.

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in a losing cause for the Blackhawks (1-9-2)

Ehlers scored his third of the season late in the third after Entwistle's shot from a difficult angle surprised Comrie less than a minute into the period.

Connor gave the hosts a 4-0 lead at 15:17 of the second period. He drove the wing and wired a shot by Fleury for a team-leading eighth goal of the season.

Toninato earned his first deking Fleury on a feed from Copp at 13:48.

The Blackhawks thought a power-play goal had pulled them within a goal early in the second, but Ryan Carpenter's effort was negated when the Jets successfully challenged for offside on the play.

It was the second straight game in which Winnipeg reversed a goal by successfully challenging for offside.

Pionk beat Fleury with a booming shot from the faceoff dot for a power-play goal at 2:23 of the first period.

Stastny finished a three-way passing sequence with Copp and Ehlers just 47 seconds after the opening faceoff.

Winnipeg was minus top goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who was ill but did not test positive for COVID-19, the Jets said Friday. Mikhail Berdin was called up from the AHL's Manitoba Moose to back up Comrie.

The Jets play their second home game in as many days Saturday with the New York Islanders are in town. The Blackhawks are at home Sunday to the Nashville Predators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 5, 2021.

Jim Bender, The Canadian Press

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