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News / Sports / National Sports

Jets edge Kraken 4-3 to clinch second in Central Division

Seattle drops fourth game in a row

By The Associated Press
Published: April 16, 2024, 8:11pm
3 Photos
Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Toffoli (73) scores on Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Tuesday April 16, 2024.
Winnipeg Jets' Tyler Toffoli (73) scores on Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Tuesday April 16, 2024. (Fred Greenslade/The Canadian Press via AP) Photo Gallery

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Kyle Connor scored twice and Tyler Toffoli broke a third-period tie to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a key 4-3 victory over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.

The win clinched second place in the Central Division for the Jets and home-ice advantage in their first-round playoff series with the Colorado Avalanche.

“Obviously that’s what we wanted to do tonight,” said Nikolaj Ehlers, who had a goal and assist. “Wasn’t beautiful all the way through, but we got it done and that’s what’s important.”

Winnipeg (51-24-6) also stretched its win streak to seven in front of its eighth sold-out crowd of the season at Canada Life Centre.

Toffoli took a pass from Ehlers during a power play and sent a backhand shot past Seattle goalie Philipp Grubauer with 8:20 remaining in the third period.

“Nice to get that out of the way in this game,” Connor said of securing home-ice advantage. “I thought we stuck with it, you know, ups and downs in the game.”

Connor’s pair of markers extended his point streak to eight games, including four goals and eight assists.

“I see him skating really well at both ends of the ice. He really is,” Jets coach Rick Bowness said of Connor. “That tells you that he’s engaged in the game. There have been some great back checks.”

Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey each contributed a pair of assists.

Connor Hellebuyck made 20 saves for the Jets, who finish the regular season at home Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Yanni Gourde had a goal and assist and Tomas Tatar and Tye Kartye also scored for the Kraken (33-35-13).

“I think it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to bring that every night,” Kartye said. “It’s a good team over there and it was a pretty good effort by us.”

Grubauer stopped 20 shots for Seattle, which lost its fourth game in a row.

“Our entire team fought hard tonight,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “Regardless of anything else, we’re in a situation where we’ve dug out of a two-goal deficit, got ourselves back to even.

“We take a careless penalty and that’s the difference in a hockey game like this. We did a heck of a job for the first minute and 50 of the kill, but they found a spot inside and found the game-winner on that.”

The Jets had veteran forward Nino Niederreiter, a Portland Winterhawks alum, back on the ice after he missed the past five games because of skate cut that nicked his Achilles tendon.

Winnipeg forward Morgan Barron left the game in the first period and didn’t return because of a lower-body injury. Bowness said he’ll be evaluated more.

UP NEXT

Kraken travel to Minnesota to play the Wild in the regular-season finale on Thursday night.

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JETS 4, KRAKEN 3

Seattle                           1      2        0—3

Winnipeg                      2       1        1—4

First Period—1, Winnipeg, Connor 33 (Scheifele, Morrissey), 10:33. 2, Seattle, Tatar 9 (Bellemare), 18:38. 3, Winnipeg, Connor 34 (Scheifele, Morrissey), 19:54.

Second Period—4, Winnipeg, Ehlers 25 (Pionk, Toffoli), 2:30. 5, Seattle, Gourde 9 (Evans, Tanev), 5:11. 6, Seattle, Kartye 10 (Gourde), 18:13.

Third Period—7, Winnipeg, Toffoli 33 (Pionk, Ehlers), 11:40 (pp).

Shots on Goal—Seattle 8-9-6—23. Winnipeg 6-11-7—24.

Power-play opportunities—Seattle 0 of 1; Winnipeg 1 of 4.

Goalies—Seattle, Grubauer 14-16-2 (24 shots-20 saves). Winnipeg, Hellebuyck 37-19-4 (23-20).

A—15,225 (15,321). T—2:12.

Referees—Mitch Dunning, Pierre Lambert. Linesmen—Ryan Gibbons, CJ Murray.

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