Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec may have made the save of the year Thursday night on St. Louis’ T.J. Oshie. Not only was the save itself outstanding, it also kept the Jets in front of the Los Angeles Kings for the second and final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Ondrej Pavelec‘s tenure as a Winnipeg Jet may be over as soon as this coming off-season, so if Thursday was one of his final games in Manitoba’s capital, he made sure to leave a lasting mark.
With the Jets barely clinging to a playoff spot and taking on the Central Division leading St. Louis Blues, Pavelec made one of the desperation saves of the year — in terms of importance, there may not be a bigger one made this regular season. The monster stop came late in the second period with the Blues on the power play. St. Louis’ Paul Stastny found T.J. Oshie alone at the side of the net, Oshie fired a shot at the wide-open cage and Pavelec dove across like a man possessed to rob Oshie of the insurance marker:
After Pavelec’s huge stop, and with the MTS Centre crowd buzzing, the Jets came back the other way with a few chances of their own but failed to convert. However, with the penalty killed and a clean sheet in the third period, Winnipeg came out firing.
Midway through the final frame, Drew Stafford snuck a backhand shot past Brian Elliott for the game-tying goal. The score stayed locked at 1-1 through the rest of regulation and overtime, and Winnipeg grabbed the win, and the ever-important extra point, in the shootout.
The Jets now hold a two point lead on the Los Angeles Kings for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Kings do, however, have a game in hand on the Jets.