Michael Hutchinson wins 1st start of season, Winnipeg Jets top Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1
Lightning 1, Jets 3
3:32 AM, Jan 31, 2018
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) -- Michael Hutchinson made 23 saves in his first NHL start of the season to help the Winnipeg Jets beat the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 on Tuesday night.
Patrik Laine scored his team-leading 23rd goal for the Jets (30-13-8). Kyle Connor and Bryan Little also scored, and Blake Wheeler had two assists.
Rookie forward Matthew Peca scored for Tampa Bay (34-13-3), which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Both teams let their starting goaltenders -- ranked first and second in wins -- have a night off after they took part in last weekend's All-Star festivities at Tampa Bay.
Hutchinson was replacing Connor Hellebuyck after his own All-Star appearance, but in the AHL showcase Monday in Utica, New York. Hutchinson had been sent to the Manitoba Moose after the Jets' training camp and acknowledged after his recent recall that he was upset by the move.
Louis Domingue played his 10th game of the season for the Lightning in place of NHL-leading goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and stopped 34 shots.
The game marked the first of 10 straight home games for the Jets, who have won seven in a row at Bell MTS Place and are 18-3-1 there this season.
The Lightning had a welcome addition to the roster with defenseman Victor Hedman back for his first game since injuring a knee on Jan. 11. He was expected to miss three to six weeks and had sat out five games.
The Jets were starting a stretch without defenseman Jacob Trouba, who's out six to eight weeks with an ankle injury.
Playing his fourth NHL game this season, Peca took a slick pass from Brayden Point and put a shot past Hutchinson with 29 seconds left in the first period. Peca had been invited to the AHL All-Star Game, but decided not to go. He was called up from Syracuse on Jan. 21 for the first time this season after playing 10 games with the Lightning last year.
Winnipeg got a two-man advantage early in the second after Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn went off for tripping at 2:43 and teammate Chris Kunitz followed with a delay of game 12 seconds later.
Wheeler sent a cross-ice pass to Laine in the middle of the faceoff circle 35 seconds later and he ripped a high shot past Domingue at 3:30 to tie it 1-all. It was his 12th power-play goal of the season.
Eight seconds after another Winnipeg power play was over, Connor scored his 16th when he jammed the puck in during a scramble in front at 8:35.
Little's goal off a rebound with 5:25 left in the third had the crowd roaring. Tampa Bay soon went on a power play, but Alex Killorn rang a shot off the post.