The Winnipeg Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 in Manitoba on Sunday night, handing the Wild their third straight loss. The St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche Sunday night as well, meaning all the Wild had to do was beat the bottom-feeding Jets and they were in.
Now the magic number is two, meaning that the Wild either have to earn two points in their final two games, or Colorado has to lose two points in its final three games. Minnesota hosts the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday; the Avs visit the Nashville Predators.
“We’re gonna get throttled if we play like this going in,” Devan Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press.
“I’m not worried about it. I don’t think we are. But I think we all know that that’s not even gonna come close come playoff time. We don’t want to be sliding in. We got lucky the last couple of nights (with Colorado losing). We have two games to get on track here and get going.”
Mark Scheifele scored a power play goal late in the first period, Winnipeg’s first in 11 games, and Chris Thorburn made it 2-0 with a breakaway goal in the second.
Mikael Granlund cut the lead to 2-1 seven minutes into the third, but Andrew Copp split Ryan Suter and Matt Dumba less than two minutes later to give Winnipeg a 3-1 advantage.
“You can’t have two stick checks on that,” interim coach John Torchetti told the Star Tribune.
Less than four minutes later, Drew Stafford scored on a rebound for Winnipeg’s second power play goal of the night.
“That was pretty much the game,” Suter told the Pioneer Press.
An empty-net goal from former Gopher Blake Wheeler sealed it for Winnipeg. Minnesota hosts the Sharks and the Calgary Flames in the last two games of the year.
“We need to win a game,” Jarret Stoll told the Star Tribune, “we have to find a way to get our game back.”[Star Tribune, Pioneer Press]