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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Evander Kane got the last laugh.
Kane assisted on an empty-net goal that gave Sam Reinhart his first NHL hat trick and the Buffalo Sabres beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 on Sunday to end a six-game losing streak.
Kane was playing his first game against the team that traded him last Feb. 11 in a multi-player deal.
The razzing started during the warmups, when Kane was the first Buffalo skater on the ice. Within seconds, he stepped on a puck and fell, sparking fans at MTS Centre to cheer his tumble.
"It was all part of the plan," Kane said. "I was looking to get some cheers out of the crowd and get them behind. So, I thought that'd be a good way to do it."
Reinhart had nothing but praise for the way Kane handled himself in front of a hostile crowd and how he chose to set him up for his third goal with 25.7 seconds left.
Kane could have shot the puck and scored himself, noted the rookie.
"It says a lot for him to handle the welcome back, if I can put it that way, the way he did," Reinhart said.
"To make the play he did shows he really is unselfish and will do anything for the team."
Kane noted he has yet to score a hat trick of his own in NHL.
"So when you get an opportunity to get one, he's a young kid, his rookie year, and wide open," Kane said. "I might as well hit him for a pass and get him his hat trick. It was great to see from him."
Marcus Foligno also scored for Buffalo, and Linus Ullmark made 42 stops.
Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault scored for the Jets, and Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 25 shots.
Foligno gave Buffalo a 3-2 lead at 4:12 of the third period. Hellebuyck gave up a long rebound off Brian Gionta's point shot, and Foligno put the puck over the goalie.
"My thoughts on my goaltender is he's been just spectacular," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.
Reinhart added the empty-netter with 25.7 seconds left for his 12th goal of the season.
Five players involved in the Kane trade were on the ice, including Buffalo defenseman Zach Bogosian and Jets forwards Drew Stafford, Joel Armia and defenseman Tyler Myers.
Kane was booed when he touched the puck and was the target of chants such "Best trade ever!" and "In the shower!" The shower reference, and some fans sporting track suits, poked fun at a report last season that Kane had violated team rules in Vancouver by showing up to a meeting on game day in a track suit. Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien reportedly threw the track suit into a cold tub or shower.
Buffalo silenced the crowd early when Reinhart's wrist shot from the top of a circle went past Hellebuyck at 1:37 of the opening period. Wheeler tied it at 5:21 on a deflection. It was his 11th goal and first in 13 games.
Reinhart scored his second goal when his shot went in off Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom during a power play with 5:31 left in the first. Perreault tied it with a power-play goal off a rebound early in the second.
NOTES: Perreault replaced Mark Scheifele (lower-body injury) at center. ... Winnipeg hosts San Jose on Tuesday night, and Buffalo visits Minnesota the same night.
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