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Connor Hellebuyck makes 35 saves, Jets beat Penguins 2-1 to end 5-game losing streak

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Saturday night to end a five-game losing streak.

Nino Niederreiter and Mark Scheifele scored to help Winnipeg avenge a 3-0 loss in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.

“It’s all about winning hockey games right now,” Niederreiter said. “Obviously, when you go toward making a push and putting yourself in a great playoff spot, you need to make sure you win close hockey games.”

Bryan Rust scored for Pittsburgh, and Tristan Jarry made 29 saves.

“They are two great goaltenders, and obviously Bucky stood on his head,” Niederreiter said. “He helped us win that game big time in the second period. They had a big push and we just let them play. But then, we took back over in the third.”

The Penguins pulled to 2-1 late in the second period when Rust deflected a point shot from Erik Karlsson past Hellebuyck.

“We didn’t establish the game we wanted to play,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We gave up I don’t know how many odd-man rushes in the first period. We were careless with the puck. That’s not a game that’s conducive to winning.”

Winnipeg made it 2-0 with 4:31 left in the first period when Niederreiter backhanded a rebound off the boards past Jarry from the side of the net.

The Jets opened the scoring midway through the first. Scheifele beat Jarry by one-timing a pass from Nikolaj Ehlers on a 2-on-1.

“Obviously, we didn’t start the game the way we needed to,” Pittsburgh defenseman Erik Karlsson said. “The first period cost us today. It’s tough when you only score one goal. Jars played great for us.”

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby had his points streak end at nine games.

UP NEXT

Penguins: Host Florida on Wednesday night.

Jets: Host San Jose on Wednesday night.

___

AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

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