Connor Hellebuyck of Commerce, MI has taken over the National Hockey League lead in shutouts for 2019-20. On Friday at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Hellebuyck made 29 saves as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-0.
Hellebuyck now has six shutouts. He leads Elvis Merzlikins of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins by one shutout. They are tied for second place with five shutouts each.
In the Jets win over the Golden Knights, Hellebuyck made 12 saves in the first period, 11 saves in the second period and six saves in the third period. Nicolas Roy of Amos, Quebec led the Golden Knights with five shots on goal.
Offensively for Winnipeg, the Jets were led by Nikolaj Ehlers of Aalborg, Denmark and Patrik Laine of Tampere, Finland. Each player had one goal and one assist for two points. The other Jets players to score were Kyle Connor of Shelby Township, MI and Mathieu Perreault of Drummondville, Quebec.
On the season, Hellebuyck has a record of 29 wins, 21 regulation losses and five losses in extra time. He has a goals against average of 2.59 and a save percentage of .921.
However, where Hellebuyck deserves his highest praise has been his durability over the last three seasons. In 2017-18, he led the NHL in games played (67), wins (44) and minutes played (3966). In 2018-19, Helleybuck led the NHL in save attempts (2051) and saves (1872). Then in 2019-20, in addition to leading the NHL in shutouts, he is once again leading the NHL in save attempts (1720) and saves (1584).
The Jets are currently in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Western Conference. They have a record of 35 wins, 28 regulation losses and six losses in extra time for 76 points. The two teams Winnipeg is currently tied with are the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators. Winnipeg’s next game is Monday when they host the Arizona Coyotes, the franchise the original Winnipeg Jets moved to in 1996.