Dustin Byfuglien and Paul Postma scored less than three minutes apart early in the third period to help the Winnipeg Jets down the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Thursday.
Adam Lowry and Drew Stafford, with an empty netter, also scored for Winnipeg (31-37-6). Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler each added a pair of assists.
Anze Kopitar scored his 25th goal of the season on the power play for the Pacific Division-leading Kings (44-25-5), who dropped their third in a row.
Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves for the Jets, who ended a four-game homestand (2-1-1). Jonathan Quick turned aside 20 shots for L.A., which couldn’t pick up a win on its three-game road trip.
Winnipeg has 68 points after 74 games and staved off being mathematically eliminated from the NHL playoffs with the victory. A Jets loss and Minnesota win over the Calgary Flames would have officially spelled no post-season chance for Winnipeg.
The Kings oushot Winnipeg 14-4 in a scoreless first period and increased the gap to 29-14 after two periods.
The Jets had a four-minute power play early in the second, but only managed one shot on Quick.
Kopitar scored with the man advantage at 9:25 of the second when he went past a Winnipeg defender and put a wrist shot past Pavelec.
Lowry tied it 1-1 at 18:20 after Matt Halischuk sent a pass from behind the net out front to him and his high shot beat Quick.
Both Byfuglien at 15 seconds into the third period and Postma at 2:54 fired shots from the point that flew past a screened Quick.
Stafford’s unassisted empty-net goal, his 20th of the season, gave Winnipeg the 4-1 lead with 1:58 left in the game.
Rookie left-winger Nikolaj Ehlers was back on Winnipeg’s top line with Scheifele and Wheeler. Ehlers missed the past 10 games with an eye injury caused when he took a puck to the face during a March 3 game against the New York Islanders.
Winnipeg veteran defenceman Mark Stuart was also back on the ice after missing 18 games because of a broken hand.
The Jets head out for a two-game road trip, starting Saturday in Buffalo. Los Angeles is home to Edmonton on Saturday.
Notes – Jets defenceman Tyler Myers has been shut down for the season to correct long-term ailments. He had minor knee surgery Thursday that needed to be done before he could undergo hip surgery that needs 16 to 20 weeks of recovery time.Report Typo/Error