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Jets beat Coyotes to earn home-ice in first round

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GLENDALE, Ariz.—The Winnipeg Jets got the victory they wanted in the regular-season finale.

Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist as the Jets beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 Saturday night to earn home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

“We knew what was going on,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

“We came here today knowing we were going to have an opportunity for home-ice in the first round or not, that's what was at stake, so we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish.”

The Jets finished tied for second in the Central Division with St. Louis, but will have home-ice in their opening-round series due to a tiebreaker with more regulation/overtime wins.

Jacob Trouba and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored, and Blake Wheeler had his 71st assist for Winnipeg, which won just two of its last seven games (2-4-1) to give up a four-point lead in the Central Division. Nashville, which won earlier Saturday night, earned its second straight division title, edging the Jets by one point.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 19 shots.

Alex Galchenyuk and Brad Richardson scored for Arizona, which finished with 39 wins—10 more than last season. Calvin Pickard had 28 saves.

Scheifele scored his 38th goal to tie the score late in the first period, after Galchenyuk's 19th had given the Coyotes a 1-0 lead 2:21 in.

Winnipeg then scored three times in the second to take control. Trouba put the Jets ahead for good with his eighth at 2:35, and Connor scored his 34th to make it 3-1 with 9:55 left in the period - just 2 seconds after a power play ended but before the Coyotes' fifth skater could get in the play. Ehlers gave Winnipeg a three-goal lead with 21st with 4:39 left.

The line of centred by Scheifele with Connor and Wheeler on the wings, reunited early this month, had five points.

Richardson capped the scoring with his 19th about 3 1/2 minutes into the third. He set a career high at age 34.

In other NHL action Saturday, the Predators beat the Blackhawks 5-2; the Stars blanked the Wild 3-0; the Oilers douse Flames 3-1; the Sharks chomped the Avalanche 5-2; and the Kings reigned over the Knights 5-2.

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