The Winnipeg Jets gave Joel Armia the puck, and they gave him the pilot helmet. At that point, the rookie was living the dream.
Armia scored for Winnipeg to get his first NHL point and the Winnipeg Jets beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 Saturday night to end a six-game road losing streak.
"It felt great," Armia said of the goal, originally credited to Matt Halischuk. "It was just awesome. It's a dream come true."
Armia, a first-round pick by Buffalo in 2011, played in his seventh game since being recalled two weeks ago.
'We talked a lot about discipline and we did a better job of staying out of the [penalty] box and getting the [penalty] kills when we needed.' - Jets forward Mathieu Perreault
He said the puck will go up on his wall at home. The helmet, routinely given post-game to deserving Jets players, won't be his to keep.
Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves and Drew Stafford scored a short-handed goal. Mathieu Perreault and Nikolaj Ehlers also had goals and Winnipeg won its third in four games.
"We finally pulled it out," Perreault said. "We have been playing well. We talked a lot about discipline and we did a better job of staying out of the box and getting the kills when we needed."
San Jose's Brent Burns scored his 16th goal, most among NHL defencemen. The Sharks are still looking for their first winning streak in San Jose this season and fell to a league-worst 5-11 at home.
Martin Jones had 17 saves on 20 shots before being replaced by Alex Stalock for the third period. Stalock had six saves.
"That was an egg. Top to bottom, poor effort, poor execution. Sloppy, soft," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "They won all the races, all the battles and they won the goaltending battle. We're in no position to show up and play like that. It's unacceptable."
Blake Wheeler created the first goal by intercepting a pass in the Sharks zone and drawing in the defence. He then tapped it to Stafford for an easy short-handed goal midway through the first period.
Wheeler has 11 points in his last eight games and has at least a point in 29 of his 38 games this season.
Armia got his goal after recovering a loose puck in his own zone and pushing it up the ice. His attempted pass hit off Justin Braun's stick and banked into the net for a 2-0 Jets lead early in the second.
"I really didn't know," Armia said. "Matty said it could be mine but it didn't matter at that point. It brought energy to the team."
"We played a heck of a hockey game," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "We skated hard, we played hard and with a lot of energy. The effort was there."
The Jets entered the game 1-11-1 in their previous 13 road games and converted just three of 45 power-play opportunities in that time.
The Sharks allowed a power-play goal for the second time in three games after going seven straight without allowing one.