Connor Hellebuyck of Commerce, MI recorded his 24th career National Hockey League shutout on Tuesday. Hellebuyck made 24 saves as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-0. With the victory, the Jets clinched third place in the North Division and will play the Edmonton Oilers in the opening round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Hellebuyck made six saves in the first period, 11 saves in the second period, and seven saves in the third period. Canucks captain Bo Horvat of London, Ontario led the team with six shots on goal in 19 minutes and 31 seconds worth of ice time.
Offensively for the Jets, two other Americans had exceptional games. Captain Blake Wheeler of Plymouth, MN led the Jets with four points, as he had two goals and two assists. Meanwhile, Kyle Connor of Clinton Township, MI notched three points as he had one goal and two assists for three points. Mark Scheifele of Kitchener, Ontario also had a multi-point game for the Jets as he had one goal and one assist for two points. The other Jets’ goal scorer was Mason Appleton of Green Bay, WI.
Hellebuyck now has a record of 23 wins, 17 regulation losses, and three losses in extra time. He has four shutouts, a goals against average of 2.60, and a save percentage of .915. Hellebuyck’s other three shutouts this season came in a 4-0 Jets win over the Canucks on March 22, in a 5-0 Jets win over the Montreal Canadiens on April 10, and in a 4-0 Jets win over the Calgary Flames on May 5.
The fact that Hellebuyck has been a workhorse for the Jets in the 2020-21 NHL regular season is an understatement. He currently leads the NHL in saves (1189), minutes played (2543), and save attempts (1299). One will need to wonder about Hellebuyck’s energy level come playoff time, and if he will show any signs of fatigue as he goes up against 39-year-old Mike Smith, who will be the Oilers starter when the postseason starts.