‘Hat Trick’ Laine powers Jets past Panthers in Finland

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Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets made the most of his first NHL game in his home country by tallying a hat trick during a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers.

The three goals by Laine in front of 13,490 fans in Helsinki, Finland bring his season total to six, with all but one coming on the power play. He gave Winnipeg a 2-1 lead late in the second period and then scored twice in the final 20 minutes to help seal the victory.

Winnipeg went 2-for-6 on the power play, giving them goals with the man advantage in nine straight games, a new franchise record.

The score went back-and-forth through two periods before Laine fired home the eventual game-winner from his favorite spot 3:28 into the third period.

He would complete his fifth career hat trick with an empty-netter in the final minute of play.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 36 of 38 shots faced to snap a personal two-game losing streak.

After finding themselves heading to the penalty box a little too often, the Jets smartened up and allowed the Panthers to spend some time shorthanded beginning late in the second period and into the third. Winnipeg’s power play was clicking at 31.4 percent heading into Thursday’s game, which was all the more reason for Florida to play smarter, especially with a penalty kill near the bottom of the league with only a 71 percent success rate.

According to the NHL, Laine is now the 18th player in league history to record a multi-goal regular season game outside of North America. He also joins Theo Fleury as the only players to tally a hat trick overseas. The longtime Calgary Flames star achieved the feat in 1998 in Tokyo, Japan.

The Panthers and Jets wrap up their two-game NHL Global series from Finland on Friday.

MORE: NHL planning more games in Europe to expand footprint

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.