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Gabriel Vilardi, Kyle Connor steer Jets past Wild

Feb 20, 2024; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Nino Niederreiter (62) jostles for position with Minnesota Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski (33) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gabriel Vilardi scored twice and added an assist, Kyle Connor tallied once in a three-point performance and the host Winnipeg Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 6-3 on Tuesday.

Nino Niederreiter collected one goal and one assist while Mason Appleton and Sean Monahan also scored for the Jets. Goaltender Laurent Brossoit made 36 saves for Winnipeg, and Dylan DeMelo, Adam Lowry and Josh Morrissey each collected two assists.

Marco Rossi scored twice and Kirill Kaprizov produced one goal and assist for the Wild. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots.

Coming off a disappointing 6-3 loss at Calgary on Monday, the Jets received a much-needed boost with a pair of goals 14 seconds apart in the first period.

Vilardi opened the scoring at the 9:20 mark with a power-play goal. He angled his skate so Connor’s slap-pass banked off it and into the net.

Appleton doubled the lead right away by ripping a top-corner, short-side wrist shot from the right faceoff dot for his 10th goal of the season.

Connor’s 20th of the season — a standard he reached for the seventh consecutive year — made it a 3-0 lead at of 1:54 of the second period. Vilardi sent a pass to Connor as he reached the slot, and Connor quickly snapped a perfect offering.

Rossi provided the Wild a much-needed boost with a power-play goal at 14:10 of the middle frame. The rookie gained the puck at the left faceoff dot and whipped a quick shot.

However, Vilardi netted his second of the night and 15th of the campaign when he deflected a point shot at 9:38 of the third period. Monahan added his 18th of the season, and fifth in three games, 58 seconds later, with another point-shot deflection.

Kaprizov’s power-play goal, his 24th tally of the campaign, came on a shot from the right dot at 12:33.

Rossi’s second of the game and 17th of the season at 14:11 brought the Wild within a pair.

Lowry’s empty-netter, his 14th goal of the campaign, rounded out the scoring at 17:02.

Wild defenseman Zach Bogosian left the game late in the first period after blocking a shot and sustaining what the team called an upper-body injury.

–Field Level Media

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