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Winnipeg Jets clinch North’s third seed in 5-0 blanking of Vancouver Canucks

May 11, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Vancouver Canucks center Zack MacEwen (71) and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jordie Benn (40) battle for the puck during the first period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Blake Wheeler scored twice in a four-point game and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck posted his fourth shutout of the season to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-0 victory over the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele and Mason Appleton also scored for the Jets (29-23-3, 61 points), who snapped a seven-game home losing streak and have clinched third place in the North Division, which means facing the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Hellebuyck made 24 saves to record his 24th career shutout. Winnipeg will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday to close out the regular season.

Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots for the Canucks (21-27-3, 45 points), who had already been eliminated from playoff contention. Vancouver has just two wins in its last 10 games (2-8-0) and has five games to play out before the season concludes.

The Jets won six of nine meetings with Vancouver in their season series.

On a night Jets forward Paul Stastny played his 1,000th game, Connor opened the scoring when he finished a nifty play. Wheeler redirected Dylan DeMelo’s long pass to Connor as he raced toward the offensive zone, and he buried his team-leading 24th goal of the season and second in as many games at the 7:48 mark of the first period.

Wheeler doubled the lead with his first goal 125 seconds into the second period. A long rebound after Neal Pionk’s point shot went to Wheeler in the right circle, and he skated to the net untouched before sliding home a backhand.

Scheifele’s 21st goal of the season before the midway point of the game made it a 3-0 affair. He was on the spot for the deflection of Wheeler’s point shot and extended his point-scoring streak to four games, in which he’s netted two goals and six points.

Wheeler netted his second goal of the game — and 15th of the campaign — when he completed a give-and-go with Connor by sniping a sharp-angled shot at 10:44 of the third period. Then, Appleton rounded out the scoring 70 seconds later with a point blast that made it through the screen before beating Holtby.

–Field Level Media