WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Winnipeg Jets are starting to get comfortable in their new home arena.
The Jets closed out a five-game homestand with a 4-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, their seventh victory in their past eight games at the MTS Centre.
"If we can get this to be a tough place to play in, which it obviously is, then it's going to be huge for us," said Jets winger Blake Wheeler, who had three assists. "I think our biggest challenge is going to try to be to play that same game on the road."
The Jets (13-11-4) extended their season-high win streak to four games, and have won all three meetings this season between the Southeast Division rivals.
Dustin Byfuglien scored 34 seconds into the first period and the Jets never looked back. The big defenseman banked a shot from behind the goal line off the back of Carolina goaltender Cam Ward's leg and into the net.
The Jets built a 4-0 lead after two periods and held on as the Hurricanes scored twice in the third.
"I wasn't getting a ton of shots there," Mason said. "To make those saves was a good opportunity for myself to try to help the guys."
Mason is usually Winnipeg's backup, but is very effective against the Hurricanes, stopping 61 of 65 shots in those three wins.
"That's a beautiful thing when you can have that type of goaltending," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "That's really what gives you an opportunity to win every night."
Carolina (9-18-4) lost its seventh game in eight outings. The Hurricanes were forced to dress only 19 players after leading scorer Jeff Skinner was scratched with flulike symptoms.
Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller, who was behind the bench for his sixth game since replacing the fired Paul Maurice, said his team dug itself too deep a hole in the first period.
"The guys don't quit," Muller said. "They keep battling through it. But it's the old saying: catch-up hockey is losing hockey."
Muller pulled Ward in the second period after allowing his fourth goal on 30 shots. Mike Murphy came on and stopped all seven shots he faced.
Evander Kane made it 2-0 less than five minutes after Byfuglien's goal with his 15th of the season on a sharp-angle shot through traffic from the left boards.
The Jets were coming off an emotional win on Tuesday night over Boston that snapped the Bruins' 15-game points streak, and could have been caught looking ahead to a Saturday night date in Detroit. But Wheeler said the team did a good job of focusing on the Hurricanes.
"It's pretty easy to get up for the Stanley Cup champs, and playing in Detroit, too," he said. "It was one of those games where ... if you let those guys with a little bit of time and space all of a sudden you're looking at the wrong end of the stick."
"I'm happy to put some points on the board," Spacek said, "but if you don't win it doesn't matter. I'd rather take two points for the team than my two points."
The Hurricanes have three days off before taking on the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday.
|Blake Wheeler doesn't get a goal on this night, but he does pick up three assists on the four goals the Jets score. (US Presswire)|
|Winnipeg (13-11-4) «||2||2||0||4|
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|34.0||- Dustin Byfuglien (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Wheeler|
|05:04||- Evander Kane (15), Snap Shot. Assist: Wheeler|
|10:16||Power Play - Tim Stapleton (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Wellwood, Byfuglien|
|11:28||Power Play - Bryan Little (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Kane, Wheeler|
|08:24||- Justin Faulk (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Spacek, Staal|
|12:13||Power Play - Brandon Sutter (6), Tip-In. Assist: Gleason, Spacek|
|07:25||Thorburn, 5 min, Fighting|
|07:25||Gleason, 5 min, Fighting|
|09:16||Jokinen, 2 min, Slashing|
|18:19||Thorburn, 2 min, Hooking|
|07:55||LaRose, 2 min, Cross-Checking|
|08:18||Allen, 2 min, Elbowing|
|09:07||Wheeler, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|09:42||Faulk, 2 min, Hooking|
|11:46||Jones, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|11:46||LaRose, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|02:20||Kane, 2 min, Roughing|
|10:36||Klingberg, 2 min, Roughing|
|Shots On Goal|