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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 4, 2024 11:16 pm

Jets douse Flames, clinch playoffs

Jets, Flames

Gabriel Vilardi notched his first NHL hat trick to help the Winnipeg Jets clinch a playoff spot with a 5-2 win against the visiting Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist, Tyler Toffoli also scored, Josh Morrissey had two assists and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the Jets (46-24-6, 98 points), who remain four points behind the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division with six games left for each.

MacKenzie Weegar had a goal and an assist, Daniil Miromanov also scored and Dustin Wolf made 40 saves for the Flames (34-36-5, 73 points), who have lost seven of eight and six straight on the road.

Weegar scored his 19th goal of the season with a wrist shot from the high slot while on a power play to give the Flames a 1-0 lead 4:35 into the game.

The Jets had a 5-on-3 for 1:28 later in the period and couldn’t capitalize, but Vilardi scored with 10 seconds remaining on the second penalty off a touch pass into the middle by Kyle Connor. That tied it 1-1 at 12:59.

Winnipeg moved ahead 2-1 at 14:56 of the first period after Cole Perfetti won possession in the corner and centered a pass to Ehlers for the redirection.

Calgary defenseman Daniil Miromanov took a shot from just inside the blue line that nicked off Jets defenseman Neal Pionk before glancing off the post and into the net at 10:34 of the second period.

The Jets moved back ahead 3-2 with another power-play goal at 15:35 of the second period. Toffoli tried to center a pass to Vladislav Namestnikov, but it went off the pad of Wolf and across the goal line for Toffoli’s 31st of the season.

Pospisil received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for elbowing Morrissey with 44 seconds left in the second period. The best scoring chance came on a 3-on-1 by the Flames, which was snuffed out by Hellebuyck.

Vilardi then swiped a loose puck into the net from in front of the crease to stretch the lead to 4-2 at 8:44 of the third. He scored into an empty net with 1:04 left to secure the hat trick.

–Field Level Media

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