A Charlie Coyle power play goal 1:05 into the second period was all the Minnesota Wild needed as they blanked the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 Monday night at the MTS Centre.
Two seconds remained in a Mark Stuart interference call when Coyle was spotted all alone in the slot, beating Jets’ net minder, Michael Hutchinson between the pads for his 12th of the season.
The win concluded a one-game road trip for Minnesota. The Wild (41-26-12) now head back to Minnesota to finish the last three games on home ice.
The victory clinched a playoff berth for the Wild, who sit in 7th place in the west, two points shy of Los Angeles for 6th.
As for the Jets (35-35-10), the loss drops them back to .500 on the year.
The Jets welcome Boston to town Thursday before heading to Calgary Friday night to finish off the regular season.
The Jets entered the game with injury trouble.
With seven players already shelved with various bumps and bruises, Winnipeg was handed another blow early Monday, losing captain Andrew Ladd (undisclosed) and Dustin Byfuglien (upper body) to injuries from Saturday’s win over the Leafs.
Michael Hutchinson, who was called up from the St. John’s IceCaps last week, made his NHL debut with the Jets and stopped 16 shots.
Illya Bryzgalov, who entered the game with a 20-save shutout against the Penguins Saturday, earned his second consecutive shutout and 11th win of the season.
In what could be considered the Jets dullest first period of the season, only three penalties — one against the Wild, two against the Jets — offered any real excitement for fans.
Neither club was able to convert, however. The Jets best chance came short-handed when Michael Frolik took a pass from Bryan Little in the slot, but Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was there to make a nice pad save.
Compared to the first frame, the second period started with a bang.
With two seconds remaining in Stuart’s interference penalty, Coyle snapped home a shot from the point, giving his team a 1-0 lead just 1:05 in to the frame.
Despite two trips to the power play, the Jets were unable to muster any offence, collecting just two shots midway through the period. The Jets finished zero-for-four on the man advantage.
Despite losing the game, the Jets outshot the Wild 23-17.
Goals – No goals.
Penalties – MIN. Parise (Tripping) 9:30, WPG Stuart (Elbowing) 16:01, WPG Stuart (Interference) 19:05
Goals – 1. MIN Coyle PPG (12) (Parise, Koivu) 1:05
Penalties – MIN Parise (Tripping) 4:29, MIN Bench (Too many men) 9:04, WPG Tangradi (Hooking) 14:38
Goals – No goals
Penalties – MIN Prosser (Hooking) 14:28