WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Kyle Connor had two goals and an assist, and Winnipeg beat the Florida Panthers 6-4 on Saturday in the Jets' home opener.

Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton each had a goal and an assist for the Jets, who lost 5-3 at Calgary on Wednesday in their opener. Morgan Barron and defenseman Dylan DeMelo also scored.

Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the Jets in the opener of a three-game homestand.

“Home opener. You’re back in front of your home fans. You gotta be a little fired up,” said Scheifele, who signed a seven-year contract extension on Monday.

“You’re playing against a team that went to the Stanley Cup Final last year. A lot of reasons to be excited for it.”

Evan Rodrigues had two goals and two assists for the Panthers, who were coming off a 2-0 loss at Minnesota in their season opener on Thursday. Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 shots.

“It’s nice to know we’re not just going to roll over and give up games,” Rodrigues said. “I think as a whole it wasn’t good enough.

“I thought we played really well against Minnesota and I thought maybe as a team we thought it was going to be easy today. I think to be successful we have to play like we did against Minnesota. I don’t think we did today.”

Rodrigues scored his first goal 25 seconds into the second period to give Florida a 2-1 lead. But Winnipeg responded with four straight goals.

Connor tied it up again just 10 seconds after Rodrigues scored. Barron made it 3-2 at 8:20, and DeMelo fired the puck in from the high slot at 9:55.

“It was more defensively, we weren’t very stout,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said of the second period, noting his team had 16 shot attempts.

The third period opened with Scheifele and Matthew Tkachuk throwing some punches at each other just over a minute into the action. Earlier in the game, Tkachuk and Jets captain Adam Lowry exchanged some shoves and heated words.

Appleton made it 5-2 with a short-handed goal, putting a shot under Bobrovsky with 5:43 remaining.

Florida closed to 5-4 on goals by Verhaeghe at 16:31 and Rodrigues at 17:36. Tkachuk hit the post less than a minute later, but Connor scored an empty-netter with 1:10 remaining.

Florida was 1 for 7 on the power play, and Winnipeg went 2 for 6.


The Jets have won their past six home openers. Connor has scored in each of those games, netting a total of eight goals, which is the most for home openers in franchise history.


Panthers: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Monday.

Jets: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday,



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