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Connor registers 3-point game, Jets beat Sabres 3-1

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Forward Kyle Connor had two goals and an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Connor scored on the power play and at even strength, and he set up a short-handed goal. He reached a career high 35 regular-season goals when he scored on the power play.

Defenseman Tucker Poolman also scored for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves.

Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen scored for Buffalo midway through the second period. Carter Hutton stopped 33 shots.

It was the first of a three-game homestand for the Jets, who have won four consecutive games in their own arena and are 18-4-3 at home.

Ristolainen pulled Buffalo to within 3-1 midway through the second when he took a bad-angle shot that went in off Hellebuyck’s left skate. Winger Kyle Okposo and center Johan Larsson were credited with assists.

With Ristolainen off for tripping, Connor had a power-play goal early in the second period to give Winnipeg a 3-0 lead. Left alone in front of Hutton, he converted a rebound of a shot by Patrik Laine. Blake Wheeler also assisted.

The Jets had taken a 2-0 lead into the second period, thanks to a short-handed goal at the 15:05 mark. With center Nick Shore off for slashing, Poolman tipped a perfect pass from Connor past Hutton. Andrew Copp had started the play in his own end and was awarded and assist.

Connor had opened the scoring at 13:59 of the first. He converted a perfect pass from Wheeler on a 2-on-1 rush.

The Sabres buzzed Hellebuyck in the third period, especially after pulling their goalie with more than two minutes left. But they could not get the puck past Hellebuyck.

Connor had a couple of chances to score his third in the final frame, but was foiled by Hutton.

NOTES: Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey returned to action after missing four games with an upper-body injury. … Forward Patrik Laine also returned after missing one game with a swollen left foot, the result of blocking a shot.

UP NEXT

Sabres: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Jets: Host Vegas Golden Knights on Friday.

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