WINNIPEG — Call Saturday’s game at MTS Centre a victory lap.
With a Stanley Cup Playoff spot safely secured and nothing to be lost or gained in their regular season finalé, the Winnipeg Jets rested several veterans and dressed a skeleton crew for their 5-1 victory over the Calgary Flames.
With the likes of Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Mark Stuart, and Ondrej Pavelec among others getting the day off, it allowed the club’s black aces to play and rookies Connor Hellebuyck and Andrew Copp to dress for their first NHL games.
WINNIPEG — Despite having two multi-goal leads erased Saturday afternoon at MTS Centre, the Winnipeg Jets rode Lee Stempniak‘s two-goal performance to a narrow 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks.
“A lot of credit goes to my linemates,” said Stempniak, now with five goals in 14 games since joining the Jets via trade on March 1. “(Mathieu Perreault) has been great since he’s been back. He creates a lot out there. For me, just trying to get open once he has the puck. He plays hard. He competes hard. He’s really creative with the puck. It’s a pretty good blend for a line (with centre Adam Lowry).”
WINNIPEG — Coming off a heartbreaking last-minute loss on Sunday night, the Winnipeg Jets were looking to shake off any ‘bad feels’ they had on Tuesday night and continue their climb towards a playoff appearance against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
But again, with the game tied late, Winnipeg’s hopes in gaining any points in the dead-heat Western Conference standings were dashed as New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider broke in and broke the hearts of the majority of the 15,016 inside MTS Centre — handing the Rangers a 3-2 win and Winnipeg a consecutive loss.
WINNIPEG – Jonathan Toews knows you don’t always have to win pretty this late in the season.
All that counts is getting the win.
Toews deflected in Niklas Hjalmarsson’s long shot with 31 seconds left in regulation as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Sunday.
“We’re going to have to win games in dramatic fashion sometimes, especially this time of year,” said Toews, who scored his 25th goal of the campaign. “They’re not going to be pretty and winning games by two or three goals, so we’re going to have to find ways to squeak them out.”
WINNIPEG — Ah, the life of a Winnipeg Jets goaltender. One week, they’re calling for your head. The next, you’re stopping everything in reach against one of the league’s most explosive offences and being praised by 15,016 deafening fans at the MTS Centre.
Ondrej Pavelec isn’t the only reason the Winnipeg Jets beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 Saturday night, but he played a very big role. Pavelec made 27 saves for his 13th career shutout, many of them in stunning fashion. He’s now matched a career high with his fourth straight win.
“It felt good… I didn’t have to make too many saves, I think we played well defensively,” said Pavelec. “Hockey’s 60 minutes, no matter what, and I’m happy I was able to stop loose pucks because you never know what’ll happen afterwards.”
WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice referred to the St. Louis Blues as the best team in the league following morning skate, and his scrappy club rose to the occasion Thursday night as the two division rivals battled into overtime and eventually the shootout with a raucous capacity MTS Centre crowd ignited following a 2-1 Jets victory.
Ondrej Pavelec, the embattled veteran Jets goaltender, played the role of redeemer stopping 32 shots through 65 minutes in addition to halting the dangerous duo of Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko in the shootout to seal the win.
“(Pavelec) made us look good when we couldn’t look good,” said Maurice of his goaltender, who made a third-straight start after going nearly four months without consecutive nods in the Jets starting lineup.
WINNIPEG — Entering Tuesday as the two clubs directly below the Western Conference playoff line with 13 games to play in the regular season, saying the meeting between the San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets would be important might be a bit of an understatement.
Fortunate for the 15,016 Jets faithful at MTS Centre, the home club came out with their engines in full burn, taking a 3-0 stranglehold in the opening 13:01 on their way to a decisive 5-2 victory.
The win puts the 35-23-12 Jets back into playoff position, leapfrogging the idle Los Angeles Kings and into the second Western Conference Wild Card spot with 82 points.