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Jets beat Lightning to improve playoff position

Mar 15, 2015 - 2:25 AM Tampa, FL ( - Entering the day just one point out of playoff position, the Winnipeg Jets earned two key ones with a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After going down 1-0 in the third period, Drew Stafford and Blake Wheeler scored goals to help the Jets finish 2-2-0 on their four-game road trip.

Ondrej Pavelec only had to make 15 saves in the win.

Nikita Kucherov scored Tampa Bay's only goal, but it was his boarding major that led to Winnipeg's two scores.

The Lightning had their four-game home winning streak snapped despite getting 27 saves from Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Kucherov broke a scoreless deadlock 4:13 into the third period. On a Lightning rush, Jonathan Drouin dropped a pass off to Kucherov, who snapped a shot over Pavelec's glove.

Less than four minutes later, however, Kucherov was assessed a major for boarding and a game misconduct for driving Winnipeg defenseman Toby Enstrom into the boards chasing down a loose puck. Enstrom would return in the closing minutes of the game.

Stafford's 150th career goal evened the score on the resulting power play at the midway point of the third. With Adam Lowry screening Vasilevskiy, Stafford wristed a shot from the circle past the goaltender.

A hooking penalty negated the end of Winnipeg's extended power play, but the Jets scored on the 4-on-4. Wheeler knocked down Victor Hedman's pass to Anton Stralman, skated around Stralman and beat Vasilevskiy with 7:16 left for his 20th goal of the season.

Despite pulling Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay could not generate enough pressure to score an equalizer.

The play was even in a scoreless first period, but the Jets started to build momentum in the second by outshooting the Lightning 16-5.

Game Notes

Tampa Bay plays its next five games at home ... Lightning defenseman Matt Carle played his first game since Jan. 15, having been sidelined by an abdominal injury ... Wheeler extended his point streak to four games, but Winnipeg's Michael Frolik lost his eight-game point streak ... Tampa Bay entered the game outscoring opponents by an 87-56 margin in the third period.