ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Vladislav Namestnikov had a goal and two assists, linemate Alex Iafallo a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Saturday.

Kyle Connor and Morgan Barron also scored, and Connor Hellebuyck made 25 saves for Winnipeg in the opener of a four-game trip.

The Jets, who clinched a playoff berth Thursday, are two points behind Colorado for second place in the Central Division. Each team has five games remaining including against each other April 13 in Denver.

“This is where you want to be at this time of the year, in the hunt, trying to claw away some points from the teams above you and try and take their place. It’s going to be fun,” Barron said.

Kirill Kaprizov scored twice and Mats Zuccarello had two assists for the Wild who are all but officially eliminated from playoff contention. Minnesota is 10 points behind Los Angeles for the second Western Conference wild card with six games remaining. The Kings host Vancouver later Saturday.

“It’s always tough. It’s not fun. Just finish season early after regular season. It’s where we are now,” Kaprizov said. “Take some learnings and keep going next season and this year a couple games we still have.”

Winnipeg won all four games against Minnesota this season and improved to 17-5-1 against Central Division foes, Minnesota is 8-13-3 in the division.

“If we can sweep them, great. We’ll take the two points against anybody,” Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said.

With 6:23 left in the second period, Iafallo redirected a slap shot from Brenden Dillon for a 3-2 Winnipeg lead.

The Jets improved to 34-1-1 when leading after two periods.

Behind a Wild defenseman and immediately in front of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, Barron scored an insurance goal on a redirect midway through the third period.

Namestnikov centers Barron and Iafallo on the Jets' fourth line.

“Nothing really changed in our game,” he said. “We got it deep, cycled and then tried to get pucks to the net and they were going in today. Hopefully we can continue.”

“You want to win the Stanley Cup? You have to have all four lines going and playing at their best,” Bowness said.

Off a Wild turnover, Iafallo fed Namestnikov whose point-blank shot in front squeaked past Fleury for a 1-0 Jets lead just 2:33 into the game, but Kaprizov spun and scored on a backhand from the slot six minutes later to even the score.

Fleury finished with 21 saves for a team whose coach was disappointed with the intensity of many depth players.

“Too many passengers tonight,” Wild coach John Hynes said.

A perfectly executed 2-on-1 led to Sean Monahan feeding Connor for a tip-in and a 2-1 Winnipeg lead, but Kaprizov again countered, this on the power play four minutes later to make it 2-2. Connor and Tyler Toffoli lead the Jets with 31 goals.

Kaprizov has points in 10 straight home games, including 10 goals; Monahan has a six-game point streak for Winnipeg.

Wild forward Ryan Hartman sat out the final game of his three-game suspension for throwing his stick toward the officials after last Saturday’s loss to Vegas.


Jets: At Nashville on Tuesday night.

Wild: Begin a five-game road trip Sunday in Chicago.



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