Lee Stempniak leads Jets over Oilers 4-1; Winnipeg keeps pace in West playoff race

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EDMONTON, Alberta — The Winnipeg Jets are keeping pace in the Western Conference wild-card race.

Lee Stempniak scored the winning goal, and Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves as the Jets beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Monday night.

Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Michael Frolik also scored for the Jets, who have won five in a row.

"We want to continue to keep this thing rolling," Stafford said. "We're not looking any further than (Tuesday) night against a desperate Vancouver team.

"They need the points as much as we do. The race is tight, so we're going to make sure we're trying to take care of our job and stay focused on the task at hand."

Jets coach Paul Maurice was glad to get out of Edmonton with a win.

"Based on the two games we played prior with Edmonton, I'm happy with the way we played," Maurice said. "It wasn't perfect. We're scratching and clawing right now."

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the lone goal for the Oilers, who have lost nine of 11.

"I don't think we played a bad game," Nugent-Hopkins said. "We outshot them, and for a lot of time outplayed them. We just couldn't find a way to score, and gave them a few too many good chances."

Winnipeg got on the board first, 7:32 in, when Stafford picked off Oscar Klefbom's pass and raced into the Oilers zone. He beat Ben Scrivens with a wrist shot for his fourth goal and eighth point in six games.

Both teams lost players in the opening period. Edmonton defenseman Andrew Ference left with an upper-body injury, and forward Boyd Gordon went out with a bad back.

"They were missed," Oilers forward Matt Hendricks said. "Guys had to play extra minutes and in different position than they are used to. Subsequently, it was kind of a chase all night."

The Jets lost forward Blake Wheeler after he took a deflected puck to the face, but he returned for the start of the third period.

The Jets made it 2-0 five minutes into the second period when Stempniak smacked in a rebound during a scramble in front of the Edmonton net.

Winnipeg took a three-goal lead with four minutes remaining in the middle period when Myers ripped a shot in off the post during a two-man advantage.

Pavelec kept the lead intact with a kick save on a late short-handed chance by Benoit Pouliot.

However, Nugent-Hopkins got the Oilers on the scoreboard just over a minute into the third with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Pavelec on the short-side.

Winnipeg got that goal back on the power play with just under eight minutes to play in the third. A big rebound came back to Frolik, and he lifted his 17th of the season over Scrivens.

NOTES: It was the last of three meetings between the teams. The Jets won the previous two games in Winnipeg. ... Oilers forwards Jordan Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins came into the game with 14 points apiece in their previous seven games. ... Scrivens made his 15th start in Edmonton's last 16 games.

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