Winnipeg Jets' Chris Thorburn (22) battles for the puck with Edmonton Oilers' Justin Schultz (19)

Jets soar past Oilers to keep pace on playoff hunt

The Winnipeg Jets are keeping pace in the wild-card race. Lee Stempniak scored the winner and goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 33 stops as the Jets continued their work to solidify a playoff position with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

EDMONTON — The Winnipeg Jets are keeping pace in the wild-card race.

Lee Stempniak scored the winner and goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 33 stops as the Jets continued their work to solidify a playoff position with a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Michael Frolik also scored for Winnipeg (38-23-12), which has won five in a row and gained important points in the Western Conference playoff race.

“We want to continue to keep this thing rolling,” Stafford said.

“We’re not looking any further than tomorrow night against a desperate Vancouver team. They need the points as much as we do, the race is tight, so we’re going to make sure we’re trying to take care of our job and stay focused on the task at hand.”

Added Jets head coach Paul Maurice: “Based on the two games we played prior with Edmonton, I’m happy with the way we played. It wasn’t perfect, we’re scratching and clawing right now.”

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins responded for the Oilers (20-40-13), who have lost nine of their last 11 games.

“I don’t think we played a bad game,” Nugent-Hopkins said.

“We out-shot them, and for a lot of time out-played them. We just couldn’t find a way to score and gave them a few too many good chances.

Winnipeg got on the board first, six-and-a-half minutes in, as Stafford picked off an Oscar Klefbom pass and blazed into the Oilers zone before beating goalie Ben Scrivens with a wrist shot for his fourth goal and eighth point in his last six games.

Both teams lost players in the opening period as Edmonton defenceman Andrew Ference left with an upper body injury and forward Boyd Gordon went out with a bad back.

“They were missed tonight,” said Oiler forward Matt Hendricks.

“Guys had to play extra minutes and in different position than they are used to. Subsequently, it was kind of a chase all night.”

Winnipeg lost winger Blake Wheeler after he took a deflected puck to the face, however he was able to return for the start of the third.

The Jets made it 2-0 five minutes into the second period as Stempniak was able to smack home a rebound during a scramble in front of the Edmonton net.

Winnipeg took a three-goal lead with four minutes remaining in the middle period as Myers ripped a shot off the post and in during a two-man advantage.

Pavelec kept the lead intact with a kick save on a late short-handed chance by Benoit Pouliot.

However, Nugent-Hopkins got the Oilers on the scoreboard just over a minute into the third with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Pavelec on the short-side.

Winnipeg got that goal back on the power play with just under eight minutes to play in the third as a big rebound came back to Frolik and he lifted his 17th of the season over Scrivens.

The Jets return to action on Tuesday in Vancouver. Edmonton next plays host to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

Just Posted

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

Updated: Collision expert backs version of crash of driver accused of manslaughter

Daniel Newsham accused of manslaughter in fatal 2016 collision

Red Deer artist highlights the dinosaur connection of Alberta birds

Jeff Powers is fascinated by winged creatures

Murder charges laid against woman from the Sunchild First Nation

The 25-year-old female victim was found dead on Dec. 12

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

WHL’s Thunderbirds, Silvertips open to NHL joining Seattle hockey market

TORONTO — The Seattle area’s major junior hockey teams aren’t worried about… Continue reading

Canadian freestyle skier Karker excited for Dew Tour’s modified superpipe

Rachael Karker has a renewed sense of confidence heading into her second… Continue reading

CBS settled with Dushku over ‘Bull’ star’s sexual comments

LOS ANGELES — CBS reached a $9.5 million confidential settlement last year… Continue reading

Kanye reignites Drake feud on Twitter, alleges threats

LOS ANGELES — Kanye West is not sending Christmas cheer to Drake.… Continue reading

Councillors in Toronto, Ottawa vote to allow retail cannabis stores

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto have voted to allow retail pot shops… Continue reading

Barry Cooper: Separation has become a real possibility, thanks to Ottawa’s abuses

In the past couple of weeks, a retired senior oil executive, Gwyn… Continue reading

Most Read