Ondrej Pavelec stopped 24 shots, including a huge glove save on Thomas Vanek with 5:45 left to preserve the victory. Winnipeg (24-19-3) improved 6-0-1 in its past seven and moved within a point of the idle New York Rangers, who hold the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot in the final week of the season.
Just as important, the Jets also crept to within a point of Southeast Division-leading Washington. That sets up a critical showdown on Tuesday, when Winnipeg travels to play the Capitals.
Aaron Gagnon also scored for Winnipeg, while Vanek scored the lone goal for Buffalo.
He's a winner. We want winners here, and he's a proven winner. He's won two Stanley Cups. He's 22 years old and been a big part of it. He's got all the right tools. He's got size (6-foot-1, 204 pounds) and strength. He's exactly what we were looking for. He's going to be a big piece of our team for many, many years to come.
— Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen on Brandon Saad, who he acquired in a trade with the Blackhawks on Tuesday