Making his NHL debut, 2016 second overall pick Patrik Laine could not match first overall pick Auston Matthew‘s four goals; but he did have a good game in his own right. Laine ripped home a wrist shot on a Winnipeg Jets power play, helping the team to four straight goals in the third period and overtime to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4. Laine also added an assist. Newcomer Shawn Matthias and Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Jets, while new captain Blake Wheeler had a goal himself as well.
After Matthias opened the scoring, the Hurricanes got goals from Jeff Skinner. Lee Stempniak, Jordan Staal and Victor Rask to take a 4-1 lead into the second intermission. It was not enough though, as the Jets mounted a furious comeback in front of their home crowd at the MTS Centre.
Patrik Laine Shines, Bryan Little Injured in Winnipeg Jets Win Over Carolina Hurricanes
It was not all good news for the Jets though, as the team lost centre Bryan Little with a lower body injury. Little collided with Hurricanes forward Bryan Bickell in the Winnipeg zone with 9:17 left in the first period. Play was stopped and Little had to be helped from the ice. He did not return to the game.
The team did not give a lot of details about Little’s injury, however, head coach Paul Maurice did state that Little would be out indefinitely. It looks like the Jets will need to find another scoring centre. Ken Wiebe reports that the Jets will know more in a couple of weeks.
Maurice says Bryan Little is out indefinitely.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 14, 2016
That was more from #NHLJets Paul Maurice on injury to Bryan Little. Officially out indefinitely. Team should know more in a couple of weeks
— Ken Wiebe (@WiebeSunSports) October 14, 2016
Little, a top two centre with Mark Scheifele, missed the end of last season with a fractured vertebrae. In 57 games he scored 17 goals and 25 assists for 42 points. He assisted on Mathias’ goal before being hurt.
Main Photo Caption:
October 8, 2016: Winnipeg Jets Center Bryan Little (18) during a preseason NHL matchup between the Minnesota Wild and the Winnipeg Jets at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)