Wheeler leads Winnipeg past the Wild

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Updated: December 27, 2013

Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) – Blake Wheeler lit the lamp twice as the
Winnipeg Jets won a back-and-forth contest against the Minnesota Wild, 6-4,
at MTS Centre.

Evander Kane, Olli Jokinen, Dustin Byfuglien, and Tobias Enstrom all scored
and Jacob Trouba contributed two assists for the Jets, who snapped a two-game
skid.

Starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was pulled after allowing three goals on
six shots, but Al Montoya turned aside 22-of-23 shots to help provide
stability in net for Winnipeg.

Mikko Koivu, Justin Fontaine, Dany Heatley, and Stephane Veilleux provided the
scoring for the Wild. Niklas Backstrom allowed five goals on 37 shots as the
Wild extended their losing streak to four games.

Heatley quickly opened the scoring 2:13 into the game, but Kane evened the
score 1:35 later with a shorthanded tally on a two-on-one. Jokinen added to
the lead on a tip-in at 5:57.

Fontaine raced through the slot to wrist a rebound past Pavelec to tie the
game 57 seconds later. Veilleux slapped the puck over the shoulder of Pavelec,
giving Minnesota the lead and chasing the Winnipeg netminder 7:04 into the
first.

Winnipeg tied the game again at 14:50. Bryan Little won the face-off back to
Trouba, who fired a shot from the blue line. Wheeler was in front of the net
to deflect the puck past Backstrom.

Byfuglien netted a wrister to give Winnipeg a 4-3 lead with 2:50 left in the
first to cap off an opening frame that saw seven total goals.

Koivu tied it up on the power-play to even the game 3:40 into the second for
the middle stanza’s lone goal.

Wheeler broke the tie after hard work chipping away in a scrum in front
of the net for his second of the night 10:40 into the third. Enstrom sent the
puck down the ice from his own zone to ensure the victory with four seconds
remaining.

Game Notes

Zach Parise missed his second straight game with a bruised foot … The Wild
activated goaltender Josh Harding from injured reserve, recalled Veilleux from
the Iowa Wild of the AHL, and placed defenseman Clayton Stoner on injured
reserve prior to the game … Winnipeg lost their previous three games against
Minnesota.