WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Gabe Vilardi had a hat trick and the Winnipeg Jets wrapped up a playoff spot and eliminated Calgary from the wild-card race, beating the Flames 5-2 on Thursday night to close a five-game homestand.

“A great night for me, but a better night for the team to make the playoff,” Vilardi said. “Still got a long way to go, a lot of work that needs to be done still. But definitely a good night.”

Vilardi scored his third goal of the game and 19th of the season into an empty net with 1:04 left. Nikolaj Ehlers had a goal and an assist, Tyler Toffoli also scored and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 31 shots to help the Jets improve to 46-24-6.

“You play 82 games to try to get an opportunity to be a part of the playoffs and it’s just, I guess, an invitation to the dance,” said Josh Morrissey, who had a pair of assists for the Jets. “It’s exciting to get in and … just excited to see this building, the Whiteout again and that energy that we all experienced.”

Martin Pospisil and MacKenzie Weegar scored for Calgary. Dustin Wolf made 40 saves.

“Everybody wants to chase the Cup. That’s what it’s all about,” Weegar said.

Toffoli gave Winnipeg a 3-2 lead on a power play with 4:25 left in the second period.

Vilardi scored his second of the game when he pounced on a rebound and plopped the puck in the net to make it 4-2 almost midway through the third period.

Weegar opened the scoring on an early power play, and Winnipeg countered on a power play with Vilardi's first of the the night with 7:01 to go in the first period. Ehler put the Jets ahead with and 5:04 left in the first, and Pospisil tied it midway through the second.

In the last minute of the second, Pospisil elbowed Morrissey in the head. After a review demanded by Jets coach Rick Bowness, Pospisil was given a major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct instead of the minor infraction originally called.


Flames: Host Edmonton on Saturday.

Jets: At Minnesota on Saturday.


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