WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Blake Wheeler and Jacob Trouba each had a goal and an assist as the Winnipeg Jets extended their point streak to five games with a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Wheeler has a point in five straight games, with five goals and three assists during that span. All five of those goals have been scored in the four games the right wing has played at center in place of injured Mark Scheifele.
The Jets are 4-0-1 in their last five and 24-11-7 overall, good for first place in the Central Division – one point ahead of idle St. Louis.
Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien raised his arms in celebration and looked up to the rafters after scoring his first goal of the season in his 30th game. It was his second game back after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury.
Bryan Little scored his eighth for the Jets, who are 15-3-1 at home. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves and improved to 22-4-6.
Buffalo defenseman Marco Scandella fired in his first goal of the season in his 41st game. Scott Wilson scored his first in his 29th game and forward Johan Larsson got his second in his 41st outing. Jason Pominville and Evan Rodrigues each had two assists.
Chad Johnson stopped 25 shots for the Sabres (10-22-9), who lost 6-2 the night before in Minnesota.
Winnipeg’s previous win against the Sabres came at home on Dec. 16, 2014. That was followed by four straight losses to Buffalo.
The Jets led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after two.
Byfuglien scored on the power play with a drive from the point at 9:27. Wheeler and Patrik Laine assisted. Laine has six assists, but no goals, in his last four games since moving up to the top line with Wheeler and Kyle Connor.
Scandella’s point shot glanced off Jets forward Andrew Copp’s glove and went past Hellebuyck at 11:40, just three seconds after a Winnipeg penalty had expired.
Trouba ripped a slap shot past Johnson on his blocker side at 15:26.
Wheeler scored with the man advantage at 6:06, his 14th of the season, but Larsson cut Winnipeg’s lead to 3-2 off a rebound with just more than two minutes left in the second. The teams were tied 19-all in shots after 40 minutes.
Little scored off a rebound 25 seconds into the third period, but Wilson made it 4-3 with a high shot over Hellebuyck’s glove at 12:17. The Sabres pulled Johnson will about two minutes left.
Sabres: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday afternoon.
Jets: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoon.
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