WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Mathieu Perreault scored four goals as the Winnipeg Jets cruised to an 8-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
Dustin Byfuglien added two goals and an assist and Jay Harrison and Evander Kane also scored for the Jets, who have coach Paul Maurice his 500th win as a head coach. The eight-goal output was a season high for the Jets, one short of the franchise record.
Perreault scored four goals for the first time in his career and tied the franchise record for most goals in a game. Ilya Kovalchuk was the last to do it for the Thrashers in 2005 and Pascal Rheaume had the first one.
Dave Bolland and Brad Boyes scored for Florida, which finished 4-2-0 on a six-game trip.
Perreault, who had his first career hat trick on Jan. 24, 2012, against Boston, now has 15 goals and 14 assists in 43 games this season.
Michael Hutchinson made 25 saves for the win.
Roberto Luongo started in net for Florida, but was pulled with 13:23 left in the second period in favor of Al Montoya after letting in four goals on 20 shots. Montoya stopped 11 of the 15 shots he faced.
The Jets led 2-0 just past the midway point of the opening period on Perreault’s first two goals and made it 3-0 early in the second.
The first goal came after Winnipeg capitalized on a Florida turnover just inside the Panthers’ blue line. Mark Scheifele got the puck and sent it across to Frolik at the point, whose shot went off the backboards. Defenseman Zach Bogosian picked up the ricochet and passed the puck to Perreault in front, who flipped it past Luongo for his 12th goal of the season at 7:24.
Perreault scored his second goal just 2 seconds before a hooking penalty to Florida’s Nick Bjugstad expired. The Panthers’ clearing attempt wasn’t successful and Perreault ended up with the puck in the faceoff circle and fired a wrist shot by Luongo at with 8:36 remaining.
Winnipeg made it 3-0 at 3:39 of the second period when Byfuglien took the puck up the left side of the ice, paused for a split-second like he might pass, but then snapped a quick shot that went over Luongo’s glove.
Bolland scored his first goal of the season at 5:15 to make it 3-1, but Byfuglien responded with his second goal of the game 68 seconds later when he squeezed a close shot through a gap between the post and Luongo’s right pad at 6:23.
Jets captain Andrew Ladd assisted on Byfuglien’s second goal, extending his points streak to a career-tying seven games with four goals and five assists.
Perreault then scored twice 1:09 apart to extend the lead to 6-1 with 3:28 left in the period.
Harrison widened the gap to 7-1 at 4:26 of the third period, Boyes made it 7-2 just over a minute later and Kane scored on the power play with 6:13 remaining to cap the scoring.
NOTES: Panthers winger Jussi Jokinen, 31, was playing in his 700th career game. … Jets forward Michael Frolik was a first-round draft pick (10th overall) by Florida in 2006.
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