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Mats Zuccarello, Wild ground Jets

Dec 27, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) in the first period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist and the Minnesota Wild defeated the host Winnipeg Jets 4-1 on Tuesday.

Jared Spurgeon, Frederick Gaudreau and Samuel Walker also scored for the Wild, who endured an odd travel day, having to fly to Winnipeg on the day of the game because of the NHL’s three-day holiday break.

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Winnipeg, while Connor Hellebuyck made 24 saves in the loss.

Filip Gustavsson made 31 saves for Minnesota.

Spurgeon gave Minnesota 1-0 lead at 5:59 of the first period on the power play, going to the net and finishing off a feed from Ryan Hartman for his fourth goal of the season.

Zuccarello made it 2-0 at 6:33 of the opening period, one-timing a drop pass from Kirill Kaprizov.

Winnipeg clawed back and made it 2-1 at 10:03 of the first period when Dubois scored his 16th goal of the season. Josh Morrissey had the primary assist, registering his 40th point in just his 35th game. Morrissey is just the fourth active defenseman to achieve 40 points in 35, joining Erik Karlsson (this season), John Carlson (2019-20) and Morgan Rielly (2018-19).

Morrissey had an injury scare in the game when he got tangled up with Wild forward Matt Boldy along the boards. Morrissey grabbed his left arm as he went down the tunnel for further examination. After a quick consult, the defenseman returned to the game and didn’t miss another shift.

Zuccarello set up Gaudreau to make it 3-1 at 8:55 of the second period, restoring Minnesota’s two-goal lead. Zuccarello left the penalty box and carried the puck into the zone before sending a well-placed pass to Gaudreau for the finish on the odd-man rush.

Walker scored into the empty net to make it 4-1 with 2:05 remaining.

–Field Level Media