Jets clinch playoff spot with shootout win over Nashville

12
Jets clinch playoff spot with shootout win over Nashville
Winnipeg Jets' Nikolaj Ehlers (27) and Mark Scheifele (55) rush to goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) after he made the game-winning save against the Nashville Predators during the shootout following NHL hockey action in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sunday, March 25, 2018. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press via AP)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Mark Scheifele scored the only goal in a shootout and the Winnipeg Jets clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

The Jets are in the postseason for the first time since 2014-15 and just the second time since their relocation from Atlanta before the 2011-12 season. The franchise hasn’t won a playoff series since 2007.

Jets rookie Kyle Connor scored a power-play goal and had two assists, giving him seven goals in six games. That includes a pair of overtime goals in Winnipeg’s previous two games and gives him 29 on the season. That’s tied with Vancouver’s Brock Boeser for the rookie goal scoring lead. Boeser’s season ended March 5 with a fracture in his lower back.

Dustin Byfuglien also scored on the power play, and Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler each added a goal and an assist for Winnipeg.

Kyle Turris, Ryan Ellis, and Viktor Arvidsson each had a goal and an assist, and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators.

Nashville backup Juuse Saros stopped 43 shots while the defending Western Conference champions rested their Vezina Trophy candidate Pekka Rinne after playing the night before in Minnesota.

Connor Hellebuyck made 32 saves for the Jets, improving to 39-11-0.

The Predators went 1 for 5 on the power play. Turris’s 14th put the Predators up 2-0 with less than one second remaining in the first period. The Jets’ two goals with the man advantage put their power play at 2 for 5.

NOTES: The Jets trail the Predators by five points for first in the Central Division with seven games remaining in the regular season.

UP NEXT

Predators: Start a three-game homestand against Minnesota on Tuesday night.

Jets: Complete a six-game homestand against Boston on Tuesday night.

___

More AP hockey: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey