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, Manitoba (AP) — Dustin Byfuglien returned
to the Winnipeg lineup and helped carry the Jets to a victory.The defenseman had
a goal and two assists in a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday
night after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury.“I thought
we put together a decent game,” said Byfuglien, who had his first goal of the
season. “It’s nice to be back and we got our two points.”Patrik Laine and Bryan
Little scored power-play goals, and Andrew Copp also scored for Winnipeg
(4-2-1).Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves for the Jets, playing the third game in
a season-long six-game homestand (2-0-1).Bo Horvat scored for the Canucks
(4-3-0), who had their three-game winning streak halted.Anders Nilsson stopped
28 shots for Vancouver, which finished its six-game road trip 3-3.“We’ve got to
take positives out of this (road trip),” Horvat said. “Obviously to go 3-3 — it
would have been nice to go 4-2 — but I thought we played some good hockey on
this road trip.“I think we opened up a lot of eyes in our room and kind of
created a culture for ourselves and have an identity to our team a little bit,
where we’re going to be competing every single night and playing fast. So it’s
all about consistency now throughout the lineup.”Little broke a 1-1 tie at 4:58
of the third period with a backhand shot that beat Nilsson. He also picked up an
assist.Laine beat Nilsson with a one-timer late in the first period. Copp made
it 3-1 with 7:14 left in the third and Byfuglien scored his first of the season
at 14:43.Winnipeg was coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to Edmonton on Tuesday. In
that game, the Jets gave up a three-goal lead entering the third period.“After
that last game we were pretty hungry in the third period Adidas
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,” Little said. “It was our best period.
Once we got that go-ahead goal it seemed like we turned it up even more. That’s
what you need. That’s what we were looking to do.”Winnipeg led 1-0 after the
first period, and Vancouver tied it in the second.Laine scored with 64 seconds
remaining, taking a pass from Blake Wheeler across the front of the net and
scoring past Nilsson on the stick side.Horvat scored his fourth goal of the
season on a great effort to get around Winnipeg defenseman Jacob Trouba, hang on
to a bouncing puck and shoot it past Hellebuyck at 12:54 of the second.Vancouver
continued a power play at the start of the third period, but wasn’t successful
on its second man advantage in the game. Winnipeg was 2 for 2.After giving his
team the 2-1 lead at 4:58, Little hit the post. Copp then scored his first goal
of the season when he banged in a bouncing puck in the crease at 12:45, and
Byfuglien sealed it with 5:17 remaining.Vancouver defenseman Troy Stecher said
returning home with six points was good and the trip showed them one important
thing.“That we never quit, that’s for sure,” Stecher said. “I think we’re a
group that’s going to have to win by committee. We’re learning how to win as a
group.“Everybody’s trying to play to the best of their ability, but some nights
aren’t going to go the way you want.”NOTES: Wheeler’s goal was his 500th point
with the Jets franchise. It ranks second behind Ilya Kovalchuk during his time
with the Atlanta Thrashers. … After being outshot 7-1 six minutes in Adidas
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, Winnipeg ramped it up and had an 11-8 edge at
the end of the opening period.UP NEXTWinnipeg: Hosts Arizona on
SaturdayVancouver: Hosts Boston on Saturday. DULLES, Va. (AP) Barry Trotz
thought of mentors and friends Jack Button, Tommy Ebright, David Poile and Wayne
Fleming when he lifted the Stanley Cup over his head.The Washington coach didn’t
think about his future, the same approach he has taken all season and
playoffs.”I wasn’t getting consumed with what was said, what my future holds,
whatever,” Trotz said. ”I’m in a pretty good spot.”Trotz was in as good a spot
as imaginable Friday as he and the Capitals landed back home in the Washington
area with the Stanley Cup in tow. The celebration will last through the parade
Tuesday, but once that’s done, the work begins for Brian MacLellan to try to
re-sign Trotz Adidas
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, top defenseman John Carlson and other free
agents.After not extending Trotz’s contract last summer, ownership and general
manager Brian MacLellan now hope to keep him around. MacLellan said after
winning the Cup that Trotz will be back if he wants to be.Trotz and Carlson, who
set a franchise record for playoff points by a defenseman, can be free agents
July 1 along with unlikely postseason hero Devante Smith-Pelly, trade-deadline
acquisition Michal Kempny and longtime glue guy Jay Beagle. Washington will have
to do some salary-cap maneuvering to keep Carlson, Smith-Pelly and Kempny in the
fold but can break the bank for Trotz.
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