Winnipeg, MB – David Desharnais, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty all scored third-period goals to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 victory over Winnipeg in what turned out to be the Jets' final game of the season.
Rene Bourque also tallied in only Montreal's second win in its last seven games, but an important one entering its regular-season finale. The Canadiens remained tied with Boston for first place in the Northeast Division entering Saturday's matchup at Toronto, though the Bruins do own a game in hand.
The Jets entered its regular-season closer one point behind both Ottawa and the New York Rangers in the race for the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated prior to the conclusion of the game after both teams won on Thursday.
P.K. Subban and Lars Eller each contributed two assists for Montreal, with Carey Price stopping 23-of-25 shots on the evening.
"(Carey Price) is our best player. He is our leader," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said of his netminder. "Tonight as far as I'm concerned, he was our best player."
James Wright and Blake Wheeler had the goals for Winnipeg, which finished its 2013 campaign with a 24-21-3 record. Ondrej Pavelec recorded 26 saves in defeat.
"You want to be optimistic, and look at the glass as half full, but I'm sick of it," Wheeler said of missing the playoffs. "I'm sick of going home right now."
The Canadiens trailed 2-1 at the second intermission, but didn't take long to draw even early in the third. On a 2-on-2 rush, Gallagher took a pass from Eller and rocketed a shot over Pavelec's shoulder just 2:07 into the final session.
Montreal then cashed in on a power-play opportunity shortly afterward to move in front for the first time of the night. With the Jets down a man for being called with two many on the ice, Subban launched a blast from the left point that was blocked in front of the net, but Desharnais was all alone on the right side to put home the rebound at the 7:57 mark.
The Canadiens kept up the pressure to gain some breathing room later on, with Pacioretty re-directing a Subban shot that followed a Winnipeg turnover to put the Habs up 4-2 with 8:10 left to play.
Winnipeg jumped out to an early edge after Wright one-timed a feed from Chris Thorburn that beat Price to the glove side near the midway mark of the first period.
It remained a 1-0 game until midway through the second, when Bourque knocked home a rebound after Pavelec stopped Alex Galchenyuk's initial attempt.
The Jets regained the upper hand with 5:17 remaining in the middle stanza, with Wheeler skating in to poke in a loose puck created by a scrum in front after Price couldn't control the disc.
Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi made his season debut and was credited with an assist on Gallagher's goal ... Pacioretty has now netted a goal in three straight outings and has tallied four markers and three assists during a six-game point streak ... The win was Montreal's fifth straight over Winnipeg dating back to last season, with three of those victories coming this year ... The Jets end the campaign with a 13-10-1 mark at the MTS Centre.