Jets clinch playoff spot, 1st post season since return to Winnipeg

Global News

DENVER — Even after a hard loss, there were hugs and handshakes all around the Winnipeg locker room.

Sure, the Jets would’ve preferred to earn a playoff spot without any assistance Thursday night. But hey, they’re in, and really that’s all that matters.

For the first time in eight seasons, no less.

“Finally, we did it,” goaltender Ondrej Pavelec said after a 1-0 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. “It’s a good feeling. A really good feeling.”

Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene scored in the shootout, and Reto Berra stopped both Winnipeg shots. Berra finished with a season-high 41 saves, then stymied Blake Wheeler and Andrew Ladd in the shootout for his first NHL shutout.

The Jets received help from Calgary to squeeze into the playoffs as a wild card when the Flames knocked defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles out of the race. The last time the franchise made…

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