Winnipeg started strong against Vancouver tonight, but the Canucks rallied back to earn a 5-2 victory in a game with substantial playoff implications.
Winnipeg’s Jiri Tlusty and Blake Wheeler scored the first two goals of the game to put the Jets in a position to win their sixth straight contest. However, Canucks forward Chris Higgins turned the tide at 10:57 of the second period with his 10th goal of the season. Towards the end of the frame, Radim Vrbata outmaneuvered Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson for what would become the game-winning goal:
The Jets yanked Hutchinson for the final minute of the third period, but the desperation move didn’t pay off as Henrik Sedin and Vrbata helped themselves to empty-net markers. With two goals tonight, Vrbata is tied for 10th in the NHL with 29 markers. Henrik Sedin had a goal and two assists, giving him 65 points in 73 games this season.
“There’s something about this team. We’re able to come back,” goaltender Eddie Lack noted, per the team’s Twitter feed.
The Canucks have to 43-26-4 this season. That gives them a four-point cushion over the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings as the Canucks fight to not only to make the playoffs, but also secure the home-ice advantage for the first round. Winnipeg is still in a decent spot as far as the Wild Card race goes with a 38-24-12 record, but the Jets could have certainly used a win tonight given that their next three games will be against Montreal, Chicago, and the New York Rangers.