Winnipeg Jets' Blake Wheeler (26) slides the puck between the legs of Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Felix Sandstrom (32) for the goal during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Eric Comrie, Winnipeg Jets shutout Philadelphia Flyers 4-0

Eric Comrie, Winnipeg Jets shutout Philadelphia Flyers 4-0

WINNIPEG — Eric Comrie thanked his Winnipeg Jets teammates for helping him earn his first career shutout.

Comrie made 35 saves in Winnipeg’s 4-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

“It feels really good. It’s a happy moment for myself,” Comrie said.

“A lot of hard work went into that. But a lot of hard work from the guys tonight. They played a fantastic game and made it real easy for myself to see the puck and make a lot of easy saves because they were playing as good as they could.”

The 26-year-old native of Edmonton was playing in his 27th NHL game, and making his 15th start for Winnipeg this season.

“We’re all happy for him,” Jets forward Kyle Connor said of Comrie. “He’s the type of teammate you cheer for every single day. You see it in practices, I’m sure you guys watch it all of the time, he’s always one of the last ones off, putting in all of the work. So it’s pretty cool to see it pay off.”

Connor also marked a milestone in the game.

The native of Michigan scored into an empty net and added a pair of assists to set a new team record for points in a season. He has 92 points, one more than captain Blake Wheeler’s point total since the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets in 2011. Wheeler had 91 points in two seasons (2017-18, 2018-19).

“There’s been some tremendous players come before me, still on this team, playing with them,” Connor said of the record. “It’s pretty cool. It’s something I’m sure I’ll look back on after the season. Just enjoying the win right now.”

Nikolaj Ehlers and Wheeler each had a goal and an assist. Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored his career-high 28th goal of the season for the Jets (37-32-11).

It was the sixth time the Flyers (25-45-11) have been shut out this season.

Playing in only his fifth NHL game, and second straight, Philadelphia rookie netminder Felix Sandstrom stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced.

The Jets were 2-for-5 on the power play, scoring one in the first period and another in the second. The Flyers were 0-for-4.

“Of course you don’t want to be too much on the (penalty kill),” Sandstrom said. “When it happens, you’ve just got to find a way to (limit) their chances and for me to come up with saves.

“Sometimes I need to be a little bit better with that, be a bit quicker and all that. It’s a work in progress so I’m just trying to keep getting better.”

Sandstrom didn’t fare well when Winnipeg got the game’s first man advantage after the Flyers were called for too many men at 5:13 of the first period.

Dubois put the puck under Sandstrom from beside the net just 10 seconds into the power play.

“I think that he’s a battler,” Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said of Sandstrom. “Tonight, the first goal maybe he’d like to have back but he continued to battle right through the rest of the way, so just like any young player it’s learning, making sure you’re ready right from the start of the game.”

Philadelphia got its own power play after Zack MacEwen took a high stick to the face by Jets defenceman Dylan Sambert at 15:46, but only put one shot at Comrie.

The Flyers took three penalties early in the second period, including a pair that gave the Jets a two-man advantage for 1:53.

After hitting the cross bar, Ehlers scored his 28th of the season late in the five-on-three with a shot that beat Sandstrom on the stick side at 7:33.

Wheeler made it 3-0 when he redirected an Ehlers’ pass at 15:15.

Shots on goal were 19 apiece after the middle frame.

The Flyers had a power play roll over into the third period, but didn’t manage a shot on net.

Both teams had power plays in the final five minutes, but Comrie made some strong saves and Connor scored at even strength into an empty net at 19:22.

The Jets hosts the Calgary Flames on Friday in the third game of their season-ending four-game homestand (2-0-0).

Philadelphia ends its season at home Friday against the Ottawa Senators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2022.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

NHL