March 26, 2018 / 2:50 AM / a month ago

Jets edge Predators, clinch playoff berth

EditorsNote: updates with Jets clinching a playoff berth

Mark Scheifele scored in a shootout and Connor Hellebuyck made it stand up by stopping all three attempts as the Winnipeg Jets clinched a playoff berth with a 5-4 victory over the visiting Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

Kyle Connor had a goal and two assists, Bryan Little and Blake Wheler each had a goal and an assist, and Dustin Byfuglien also scored for Winnipeg, which won its fifth consecutive game with its NHL-best 29th home win (29-7-2). Hellebuyck finished with 32 saves.

Viktor Arvidsson, Kyle Turris and Ryan Ellis each had a goal and an assist and Roman Josi and also scored for Nashville, which moved a point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL’s top total. The first-place Predators lead the second-place Jets by five points in the Central Division.

Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 43 saves.

Nashville, coming in off a 4-1 loss at Minnesota on Saturday, jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead. Josi scored at 10:09 on a one-timer from the right circle that grazed off Hellebuyck’s right shoulder, and Turris blasted just inside the near post from left circle that just beat the buzzer at 19:59.

Connor cut it to 2-1 with a power-play goal early in the second period, but Ellis answered three minutes later with his eighth of the season on a one-timer past Hellebuyck’s glove.

Byfuglien made it to 3-2 with a long wrist shot from the right point off Wheeler’s league-leading 65th assist at 11:29. Little tied it 2 1/2 minutes later with his 199th career goal on a slap shot from the right circle into the top corner. Arvidsson put the Predators back in front, 4-3, with a rebound in the crease of a Ryan Johansen shot at 15:18.

Wheeler tied it 4-4 just 59 seconds into the third period with a rebound of a Joe Morrow blast from the right side of the net. It was Wheeler’s 20th goal of the season, the fifth straight season he has scored at least 20.

Winnipeg’s Tyler Myers clanged a shot off the crossbar with 1:15 left in overtime and Turris hit the post on a breakaway with six seconds left to set up Scheifele’s winner in the shootout.

Connor’s goal was his 29th goal of the season and seventh in six games. Connor moved into a tie with injured Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser for the most goals by an NHL rookie this season.

—Field Level Media

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