EditorsNote: rewords fourth graf, adds to seventh graf
Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor collected a goal and an assist as the visiting Winnipeg Jets posted a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in both teams’ regular-season finale at Glendale, Ariz.
Nikolaj Ehlers and defenseman Jacob Trouba also tallied, and Connor Hellebuyck made 19 saves for the Jets (47-30-5, 99 points), who recorded just their second win in their last seven games (2-4-1).
Winnipeg, which finished in second place in the Central Division, will have home-ice advantage when it faces the St. Louis Blues in the first-round of the playoffs. Nashville’s 5-2 victory over Chicago earlier on Saturday ended the Jets’ bid to claim the Central title.
Alex Galchenyuk and Brad Richardson scored their team-co-leading 19th goals, and Calvin Pickard turned aside 28 shots for the Coyotes. Arizona (39-35-8, 86 points) finished the season with losses in eight of the last 11 games (3-5-3).
Trouba poked home a loose puck to give Winnipeg a 2-1 lead at 2:35 of the second period.
Connor doubled the advantage 7 1/2 minutes later after gaining position on Arizona defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and swatting the puck into the net. Jets captain Blake Wheeler picked up the secondary assist on Connor’s goal for his career-high 91st point of the season.
Defenseman Tyler Myers’ shot handcuffed Pickard, with Ehlers alertly blasting the puck home from a sharp angle near the goal line to give the Jets a 4-1 lead at 15:21 of the middle period.
Vinnie Hinostroza set up Richardson for a tap-in goal at 3:29 of the third period for Arizona, which appeared to pull within one with 5:10 to play. Winnipeg, however, successfully challenged that Josh Archibald interfered with Hellebuyck prior to his apparent goal.
Wheeler’s ill-advised clearing attempt through the center of the ice was intercepted by Galchenyuk, who wristed a shot that deflected off the glove of Hellebuyck and into the net to open the scoring 2:21 into the first period.
The Jets answered with 4:42 remaining in the first period, as Connor skated around the net before setting up Scheifele’s one-timer from the right circle for his career-high 38th goal of the season.
—Field Level Media