Bryan Little records 500th point in Winnipeg Jets win over Detroit Red Wings

Winnipeg Jets goalie Laurent Brossoit won for the ninth time in ten starts as his team got back in the win column.

The Jets bounced back from Thursday’s loss with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Friday at Bell MTS Place.

Winnipeg scored just 13 seconds into the game and never surrendered the lead. Kyle Connor had a three-point night with one goal and two assists.

Brossoit stopped 33 of 35 shots in their second victory against the Red Wings this season. It was Brossoit’s first start since Dec. 22.

“At the start I felt a little bit rusty,” Brossoit said.

“First period — a little bit sloppy in my eyes, but second period, third period, I definitely settled in and felt good.”

Connor, Brandon Tanev, Blake Wheeler, and Bryan Little all scored for Winnipeg. And the Jets managed to hold off a strong push from the Red Wings late in the game.

“It was another one of those strange games kinda where there was a lot of momentum shifts,” Little said. “We let off the gas couple times in the second and they made a good push, and just one those games it was back and forth, and your lead never felt safe.”

“I thought it was kind of a gutsy performance,” Josh Morrissey said.

“Probably not one for the entire 60 minutes that you would use as your template at the start of the year.”

Little’s goal gave him 500 career points.

“It went by fast,” Little said. “Trying to think of the years of my career. Up to this point, it feels like it flew by, so hopefully, there’s many more to come.”

Luke Glendening and Dennis Cholowski both scored for Detroit. St. Andrews’ Darren Helm had one assist in the loss.

Jonathan Bernier made 23 stops for Detroit.

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The Jets got right down to business as they scored the game’s first goal just 13 seconds into the contest. Adam Lowry fed the puck to Tanev, and he took it off his skate before sending it into the top corner behind Bernier. It was Tanev’s 10th of the season. Mathieu Perreault also had an assist for Winnipeg.

The Jets scored early and scored late in the opening period. With just 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Wheeler’s pass ricocheted off the stick of Thomas Vanek and past Bernier. Mark Scheifele and Connor assisted on Wheeler’s eighth goal of the season. The Jets had a two-goal lead after 20 minutes where the shots were 10 apiece.

The Jets extended their lead in the second stanza playing 4-on-4. With each team serving a minor penalty, Little’s shot hit a body out front and bounced past Bernier. It was Little’s 500th career point and his ninth goal of the campaign. Connor had the only assist and it was a 3-0 Jets’ lead.

The Red Wings got onto the score sheet at the midway point of the period. With Detroit shorthanded, Helm started the rush. He spotted Filip Hronek who made a nice fake before passing it off to Glendening, and he lifted it past Brossoit. The shorthanded marker was Glendening’s sixth goal of the season.

The Jets had a two-goal lead after two periods. The shots were 14-9 for Detroit in the middle period.

Detroit made it a one-goal game seven minutes into the final frame. Cholowski roofed the shot on Brossoit for his seventh of the season. Niklas Kronwall and Frans Nielsen picked up the assists and suddenly it was 3-2.

Just moments later the Red Wings came close to the equalizer, but Brossoit denied Andreas Athanasiou on the breakaway to keep the Jets in the driver’s seat.

Connor scored into the empty net to close out the scoring with 1:00 left in the game.

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The Jets were without injured defencemen Tyler Myers and Dustin Byfuglien. Myers left Thursday’s game in the third period with a lower body injury, and head coach Paul Maurice indicated on Friday morning he’s listed as day-to-day. Nikolaj Ehlers also missed the game with an injury, while Nic Petan was a healthy scratch.

The Jets continue their three-game homestand on Sunday against the Anaheim Ducks starting at 5:00 p.m. at Bell MTS Place.

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