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Minnesota Wild fend off the Winnipeg Jets to inch closer to postseason berth

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The Minnesota Wild dropped their magic number to one with a tense 1-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets Monday at the MTS Centre.

The Wild acquired Ilya Bryzgalov for a fourth round draft pick, which is turning out to be one of the biggest trade deadline acquisitions in the league.

The Russian goaltender stopped 24 shots for a second consecutive shutout and third as a member of the Wild. He now has a shutout streak of 143 minutes and 15 seconds. He also improved to 6-0-3 with a 1.67 goals against average and .929 save percentage in 10 games with the Wild.

Charlie Coyle provided the only offense Bryzgalov needed with a one-timer from Zach Parise right as a power play ended. Officially, it was an even-strength goal, but came off the momentum generated at the end of Mark Stuart’s late first period penalty.

The Wild (41-26-12) need just one more point to clinch a spot in the playoffs, which can be any type of win or an overtime loss or any type of loss by the Phoenix Coyotes.

In order for the Wild to miss the playoffs three things need to happen: 1) the Wild lose their remaining three games in regulation; 2) the Phoenix Coyotes win all four of their remaining games and have at least a plus-14 better goal differential than the Wild; AND 3) the Stars win three games before losing in overtime to the Coyotes in the last game of the season.

If those three scenarios happen, the Wild, Stars and Coyotes would be tied with 94 points while holding 1-1 records against each other in games that matter, but the Stars would have two extra points in those games because of the overtime losses in their most recent trips to St. Paul and Phoenix. The Stars would then claim the No. 7 spot, while the Coyotes’ and Wild’s point differential would determine the No. 8 seed.

The Jets (35-35-10) dominated the third period and played with speed and pressure that forced the Wild to play defense rather than control the pace of play.

The Wild return to action Tuesday against the Boston Bruins at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Michael Frolik. The Jets forward tied for a game-high four shots on goal.

No. 2 - Charlie Coyle. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 1 - Ilya Bryzgalov. The Wild goaltender stopped 24 shots.

Boxscore

Minnesota……0 1 0 - 1

Winnipeg….…0 0 0 - 0

First Period - None. Penalties - Parise, MIN (tripping), 9:30; Stuart, WPG (elbowing), 16:01; Stuart, WPG (interference), 19:05.

Second Period - 1, Minnesota, Coyle 12 (Parise, Koivu), 1:05. Penalties - Parise, MIN (tripping),4:29; Bench, MIN (too many men; served by Niederreiter), 9:04; Tangradi, WPG (hooking), 14:38.

Third Period - None. Penalties - Prosser, MIN (hooking), 14:28.

Shots on goal - Minnesota 6-7-3 17. Winnipeg 7-5-12 24.

Goalies - Minnesota, Bryzgalov (24-24). Winnipeg, Hutchinson (16-17). Referees - Eric Furlatt, Ian Walsh. Linesmen - Matt MacPherson, Bryan Pancich.

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