Blake Wheeler gets hat trick, Jets roll over Avs

Blake Wheeler posted his fourth-career hat trick, and had an assist, while Connor Hellebuyck recorded his third shutout of the season, as the Winnipeg Jets rolled to a third straight victory, 5-0 over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Mark Scheifele had a goal with two assists, Josh Morrissey added one of each and Cole Perfetti recorded three helpers for the Jets, who’ve totaled 17 goals during their three-game win streak.

It was the first hat trick since a four-goal effort on March 2019 at Columbus for Wheeler, who has 10 points in five games.

Hellebuyck, meanwhile, was solid all night making 40 saves while helping the Jets kill three Colorado power plays.

He faced 31 shots between the final two periods from the Avalanche, who had won four straight road games and eight of 10 overall, but were blanked for the second time this season.

Winnipeg was outshot 9-4 in the first period, but opened the scoring in the frame. That came 9:18 into the contest, on the power play, when Wheeler snapped a shot just outside the circle by the Avs’ goalie Alexandar Georgiev (19 saves).

Wheeler, though, proved to be the reason Scheifele’s apparent goal, 2:05 into the second period, was taken back after a Colorado video challenge. It determined Wheeler made incidental contact with Georgiev, thus warranting goaltender interference.

However, the Jets went ahead 2-0 just under two minutes later. Morrissey, who has a team-high 25 points in 21 games, put in his slap shot from just inside the blue line at 3:46 into the second.

The Avalanche stepped up the pressure later in the second, but Hellebuyck was up to the task en route to recording his 31st career shutout. Then with 6:53 remaining in the middle frame, Wheeler converted off a backhanded pass from Perfetti.

Wheeler assisted when Scheifele tipped in Kyle Connor’s cross-slot pass 1:22 into the third. Then completed his hat trick with 3:51 to play.

Winnipeg, 8-2-0 at home this season, and is 12-3-1 after losing three of its first five games overall.