April 23rd, 2024

Toffoli scores twice as Jets zip past Blue Jackets 6-1

By Nicole Kraft, The Associated Press on March 17, 2024.

Columbus Blue Jackets' Dmitri Voronkov, right, carries the puck past Winnepeg Jets' Mason Appleton (10) during the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 17, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Tyler Toffoli scored twice and added an assist, leading the Winnipeg Jets past the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Sunday night.

Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist, and Kyle Connor, Logan Stanley and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored. Sean Monahan added two assists and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 30 shots for the Jets, who pulled even with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche atop the NHL’s Central Division.

Brendan Gaunce scored and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 21 shots for Columbus, which has lost four of its last five, including three out of four at home. The Blue Jackets remain last in the Metropolitan Division.

Connor got Winnipeg on the board on the game’s first shot, a wide-open wrister from the slot with 1:26 elapsed. Mark Scheifele’s primary assist gave him 40 on the season for the sixth time in his career.

Winnipeg then used a four-goal second period to break open the game, scoring early and often.

Ehlers made it 2-0 at 1:10 before Toffoli followed up at 9:45 with his third goal in two games since being acquired from the New Jersey Devils.

An unassisted goal from Stanley at 12:00 and Namestnikov’s score at 18:24 gave Winnipeg a 5-0 lead after 40 minutes.

In the third period it was the Blue Jackets who scored early, with Gaunce making it 5-1 39 seconds after the puck dropped, in his fourth game since being called up from AHL Cleveland. Winnipeg thought it padded the lead at 4:34, but Morgan Barron’s goal was called off for a high stick.

Toffoli completed the scoring with his second goal at 17:34 of the third.

The win is the Jets’ second in a row and kicks off a five-game road trip.

UP NEXT

Jets: Visit the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

Blue Jackets: Visit the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

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

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