With a 5-4 shootout win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night, the Winnipeg Jets clinched a playoff berth.
The Jets are now 46-19-10 on the season, good for second place in the Central Division.
Winnipeg has now punched its ticket through to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in three seasons.
The Jets have won five consecutive games and will close out their six-game homestand on Tuesday against the Boston Bruins.
The victory over Nashville put them within five points of the Predators for the top drawer of the division. It also put them 10 points ahead of the Minnesota Wild, who have a game in hand.
The club received contributions from rookie Kyle Connor once more, who deposited a power play goal against the Predators and added two assists. He has seven goals in Winnipeg’s last six games and is now tied with Vancouver Brock Boeser for the NHL rookie scoring lead.
Patrik Laine was also part of the action, although he took a handful of shifts off during the middle frame due to a Roman Josi stick to the face. Laine didn’t miss any games due to his ankle injury last week, much to the relief of Winnipeg fans everywhere. He’s still sitting at 43 goals on the season, however, with his rival/idol Alex Ovechkin at 44.
Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck improved to 39-11-9 on the season after making 32 saves.
The Predators opted for backup Juuse Saros against Winnipeg on Sunday, resting Pekka Rinne after he played the night prior in Minnesota.
We may see the Jets take some similar precautions.
Head coach Paul Maurice announced prior to Sunday’s contest that defenceman Toby Enstrom would be out the rest of the regular season to deal with a host of lower body ailments. The plan is for him to return for Game One of the post-season. Tucker Poolman was used in relief.