Jets top Sharks, move into playoff spot
WINNIPEG – Ondrej Pavelec stopped 38 shots, and the Winnipeg Jets moved into a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
It was Pavelec's second consecutive and his first consecutive starts since late November. Rookie Michael Hutchinson has gotten the nod in net lately.
"Now is now," Pavelec said of getting back-to-back starts. "… My job is to be ready whenever I have a chance to play."
Blake Wheeler scored two goals and added an assist to fuel the Jets offense.
With 82 points, Winnipeg is in the second wild-card position in the West. The Jets are one point ahead of Calgary and idle Los Angeles. The Kings hold a game in hand and are third in the Pacific Division.
San Jose is five points behind Los Angeles. "We can sit in a corner and cry if we wanted to, but that's not going to help one bit," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said.
•HAMMOND MATCHES BRIMSEK'S RECORD: Mark Stone scored the winning goal 4:46 into overtime, and Andrew Hammond became the second goalie in NHL history to allow two goals or fewer in each of his first 12 starts as the Senators beat the Hurricanes 2-1 in Raleigh, N.C. Hammond (11-0-1) matched the record set by Boston's Frank Brimsek, the Eveleth, Minn., native who also went 12 consecutive games in 1938 without giving up more than two goals.
•BLUES BACK IN FIRST: Alex Steen scored two goals and Brian Elliott made 25 saves to lead the Blues to a 4-0 victory over the host Flames. Jori Lehtera and David Backes also scored for St. Louis, which won for the fifth time in six games and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division — one point ahead on Nashville. Calgary tumbled out of a Western Conference playoff spot after Winnipeg beat San Jose.
•TOEWS LEADS BLACKHAWKS: Jonathan Toews scored twice and assisted on both of Marian Hossa's goals to lead the Blackhawks past the Islanders 4-1 in Chicago. The Blackhawks improved to 7-1-1 since Feb. 24 when Patrick Kane broke a collarbone.
•LUNDQVIST PRACTICING: Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been cleared to practice after being sidelined for more than a month because of a vascular injury to his neck.