Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Patrik Laine Scores Hat Trick as Jets Come Back to Edge Maple Leafs in OT

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Patrik Laine Scores Hat Trick as Jets Come Back to Edge Maple Leafs in OT

Article excerpt

Laine scores hat trick, Jets edge Leafs in OT

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WINNIPEG - Patrik Laine showed some flash on the ice Wednesday and a sense of humour off of it.

The Jets rookie scored a hat trick, including the winner at 2:40 of overtime, as Winnipeg overcame a four-goal deficit to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4.

"I think it was just a normal regular-season game," Laine said with a chuckle.

It was anything but for the second-overall pick in this year's NHL draft.

Laine scored the winner right after Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, the draft's No. 1 selection, was stopped by Winnipeg goaltender Michael Hutchinson at the other end of the ice.

Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien grabbed the puck and sent it up to Laine, who skated in and fired a high shot past Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen.

The fans at MTS Centre got into the first NHL showdown of the highly touted rookies, chanting "Laine better."

Laine appreciated the support, but didn't get into his own assessment of Matthews, who had scored four goals in Toronto's season-opening 5-4 overtime loss to Ottawa.

"Yeah, I heard something and that sounds pretty good," Laine said of the biased home fans. "That's their opinion and I'm not going to say anything about that."

Matthews heard the chants, too.

"It's a great atmosphere," Matthews said. "Obviously, Winnipeg is a great hockey city so that's what you get when you play these types of teams. You got to block it out and just have fun with it."

Laine's hat trick gives him four goals and one assist in four games so far this season. Matthews recorded his first assist of the year and now also has five points but in three games.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice said both city's fan bases are lucky to watch Laine and Matthews.

"Two great young players that are going to give their fans reasons to have nights like this over the course of the year, over the course of their careers, starting now," Maurice said.

"We've just seen brilliance from both of them in the first four games of the season. …

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