St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Ondrej Pavelec made 32 saves and the Winnipeg Jets earned two big points with a 2-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Monday.
It was Pavelec's 14th career shutout, and perhaps his biggest, as Winnipeg moved into the second wild card position in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Kings.
"We had a good start," said Pavelec. "All game long, I was able to see the puck."
Blake Wheeler and Drew Stafford scored the Jets' goals in their second straight win.
The Wild would have clinched a playoff berth with a win, but they lost their third straight game for the first time since Jan. 3-13.
Devan Dubnyk allowed both Jets goals on 34 shots.
"This was a very even hockey game tonight," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "They found a way to make a couple plays that we didn't."
Winnipeg jumped all over Minnesota in the first period with 16 shots on net, and the Jets only needed 4:12 to score the only goal they needed. Wheeler was credited with a power-play goal when his centering pass was redirected into the net by Minnesota's Marco Scandella.
The Wild put more pressure on in the second period. Thomas Vanek beat Pavelec to the short-side, but his shot rang off the post. After Wheeler's slash disrupted a Minnesota 3-on-1, Vanek's deflection in front of the net on the ensuing power play was stopped by Pavelec.
The Jets went up 2-0 on Stafford's goal past the midpoint of the second period. Dubnyk stopped Tyler Myers' shot, but he could not control the rebound, which Stafford wristed into the back of the net.
With two minutes left, Minnesota pulled Dubnyk in favor of the extra attacker but could only get one shot on goal.
Winnipeg won three out of five games in the season series ... Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu returned after a one-game absence with an eye injury ... Winnipeg's Mathieu Perreault has five assists in his last three games ... This was Minnesota's first loss by more than one goal since Jan. 19 ... Winnipeg's win officially eliminated the San Jose Sharks from playoff contention.