Skip to Main Content
game recap

Kings lose to Jets, fail to clinch Pacific

Winnipeg rallies from down three to prevent L.A. from wrapping up first division title in 25 years

by Curtis Zupke / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- The Winnipeg Jets finished their season as spoilers in dramatic fashion and put the Los Angeles Kings back in limbo.

Mark Scheifele scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Jets a 4-3 win at Staples Center on Saturday, preventing the Kings from clinching the Pacific Division title in their season finale.

"The frustrating part is that we didn't get the job done tonight," Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar said. "We certainly had every opportunity to win the division, and the bottom line [is] we didn't do it."

Scheifele beat Kings goalie Jonathan Quick with a snap shot in the second round, and Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec made a save against Tyler Toffoli to seal the comeback win.

Video: WPG@LAK: Jets win finale on Scheifele's SO winner

The Kings (48-28-6, 102 points) blew a three-goal lead and are one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks, who can win the Pacific with a victory at the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

"It's frustrating that we didn't finish that game out," Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "We left [Quick] out to dry, and it's disappointing. We're going to have to change our attitude before the playoffs start, or else we're not going to last long."

Winnipeg (35-39-8), which won four games in a row, including three in California, to end its season, fell behind 3-0 before getting goals by Andrew Copp, Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler in a span of 6:15 from late in the second period to the beginning of the third. Wheeler took a pass from Scheifele off his skate and barely tapped it under Quick at 3:21 of the third to tie it.

"It was awesome," Scheifele said. "To come back in a game like that against a team that's pushing pretty hard to get first in the Pacific, it's definitely big for us."

Video: WPG@LAK: Quick dives to make a barehand save in OT

Toffoli and Tanner Pearson scored in the first period for the Kings.

Toffoli opened the scoring with his 31st goal on a tap-in of Jeff Carter's backhand pass in the crease at 9:18.Pearson slipped the puck through Pavelec's five-hole at 13:29 to complete a rush and give the Kings a 2-0 lead.

Andy Andreoff gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead 6:05 into the second period. He circled to the front of the net and his shot banked in off Winnipeg defenseman Paul Postma's skate.

"We had the start that we wanted and for whatever reason, we stopped playing," Kopitar said. "Obviously, we made a bunch of turnovers that resulted into their goals. The start was good, but the second and third period were not very good."

Pavelec said he was told he would be starting an hour before the game after Michael Hutchinson reportedly came down with flu. He stopped Kopitar, Carter and Toffoli in the shootout.

Video: WPG@LAK: Scheifele, Wheeler connect to tie the game

"It's always great when you come back from down 3-0," Pavelec said. "We started skating. They had trouble [handling] us in our zone. The first half of the game, they spent the whole time in our zone. … We had a great start to the third."

Pavelec said the finish to the season didn't mean much, but the Jets had a big hand in the playoff race with a California sweep of the Ducks, San Jose Sharks and Kings.

"That's what we planned on doing here and we did a great job of doing it," Scheifele said.

Wheeler extended his career-high point streak to 11 games to equal Marian Hossa's Jets/Atlanta Thrashers record set in 2006-07.

Carter and Milan Lucic each tied NHL career highs for assists, Lucic with his 35th on Pearson's goal, and Carter with his 38th on Toffoli's goal.

Video: Jets overcome three-goal deficit for SO win in finale

View More