Laine first with 5 goals since ’11; fan scores big

ST. LOUIS — Patrik Laine scored five goals in the Winnipeg Jets‘ 8-4 victory Saturday night at St. Louis, two short of a 97-year-old NHL record.

Laine, 20, is the first player with a five-goal game since Johan Franzen on Feb. 2, 2011. He also is the third player to score five goals in a game before turning 21, joining Wayne Gretzky (twice) and Don Murdoch.

Joe Malone, who played in the early days of the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, scored seven goals in a game with the Quebec Bulldogs in January 1920. He also had a six-goal game and three five-goal games.

It was the 61st five-goal game in league history. Darryl Sittler of the Toronto Maple Leafs was the most recent player to score six goals in a game, on Feb. 7, 1976, against Boston.

“I felt like every time I touched the puck it kind of went in somehow,” Laine said. “It was one of those nights. It’s probably not going to happen in a while, but we’ll hope it happens. It was a great night overall for myself and my linemates.”

Laine’s five-goal outburst gives him a league-leading 16 goals in 10 November games.

It also earned one fan a giant payday, thanks to a contest put on by Sobeys/Safeway supermarkets. According to the “Score & Win” contest’s website, a contestant is selected before every Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames game, and a $1 million prize (Canadian dollars, equivalent to nearly $756,000 U.S.) was set to be awarded if any player on those teams scored five goals in a game.

Sobeys/Safeway tweeted before Saturday’s game that the contestant was Christopher Haley of Winnipeg, writing, “You could win a million dollars if any Jets player scores 5 goals today against the St. Louis Blues.”

Sobeys/Safeway confirmed the winner later in the night.

Laine scored his first goal 16 minutes, 26 seconds into the first period when he buried a feed from Bryan Little just 41 seconds after Blake Wheeler tied the game 1-all with his fourth goal of the season.

Laine’s second goal came on the power play, with Vladimir Tarasenko serving a two-minute penalty for roughing, and put Winnipeg up 3-2.

Laine completed his seventh career hat trick and third of November when he beat Chad Johnson 12:53 into the third period.

Blues defenseman Joel Edmundson fought Tyler Myers shortly after Laine’s third goal, but that did nothing to change the tide as Laine netted his fourth goal later in the period.

Laine netted his fifth of the game when he pushed a feed from Little past Allen, becoming the 45th player in NHL history to record a five-goal game.

Jets coach Maurice Richard said he was “surprised” that Laine hadn’t accomplished the feat sooner.

“On the nights that he’s scored his three, he’s had his chances to get so much more,” Richard said.

Laine didn’t share his coach’s confidence.

“If somebody thinks that it’s going to come easily, it doesn’t,” Laine said. “Every goal you’re going to score in this league, it’s hard. It’s the best league in the world. Obviously scoring five, it’s pretty unreal, but for those who think it’s easy, it’s not.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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