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Jets hand Kings third-straight loss with 4-1 win

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) saves the shot from Los Angeles Kings' Tyler Toffoli (73) as Jets' Julian Melchiori (71) and Chris Thorburn (22) defend during first period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, March 24, 2016.


Dustin Byfuglien and Paul Postma scored less than three minutes apart early in the third period to help the Winnipeg Jets down the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 on Thursday.

Adam Lowry and Drew Stafford, with an empty netter, also scored for Winnipeg (31-37-6). Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler each added a pair of assists.

Anze Kopitar scored his 25th goal of the season on the power play for the Pacific Division-leading Kings (44-25-5), who dropped their third in a row.

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Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves for the Jets, who ended a four-game homestand (2-1-1). Jonathan Quick turned aside 20 shots for L.A., which couldn't pick up a win on its three-game road trip.

Winnipeg has 68 points after 74 games and staved off being mathematically eliminated from the NHL playoffs with the victory. A Jets loss and Minnesota win over the Calgary Flames would have officially spelled no post-season chance for Winnipeg.

The Kings oushot Winnipeg 14-4 in a scoreless first period and increased the gap to 29-14 after two periods.

The Jets had a four-minute power play early in the second, but only managed one shot on Quick.

Kopitar scored with the man advantage at 9:25 of the second when he went past a Winnipeg defender and put a wrist shot past Pavelec.

Lowry tied it 1-1 at 18:20 after Matt Halischuk sent a pass from behind the net out front to him and his high shot beat Quick.

Both Byfuglien at 15 seconds into the third period and Postma at 2:54 fired shots from the point that flew past a screened Quick.

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Stafford's unassisted empty-net goal, his 20th of the season, gave Winnipeg the 4-1 lead with 1:58 left in the game.

Rookie left-winger Nikolaj Ehlers was back on Winnipeg's top line with Scheifele and Wheeler. Ehlers missed the past 10 games with an eye injury caused when he took a puck to the face during a March 3 game against the New York Islanders.

Winnipeg veteran defenceman Mark Stuart was also back on the ice after missing 18 games because of a broken hand.

The Jets head out for a two-game road trip, starting Saturday in Buffalo. Los Angeles is home to Edmonton on Saturday.

Notes – Jets defenceman Tyler Myers has been shut down for the season to correct long-term ailments. He had minor knee surgery Thursday that needed to be done before he could undergo hip surgery that needs 16 to 20 weeks of recovery time.

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