Advertisement

Andrew Ladd scores 2 as Winnipeg Jets top L.A. Kings 5-2

Drew Stafford (12) of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his first-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings with teammates at the bench on Sunday at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets added two points in the standings and one forward to their depth chart as they continued their playoff push on Sunday.

The Jets announced a trade for forward Lee Stempniak in the waning moments of their 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in a battle between two teams fighting for Western Conference playoff berths.

The trade sent forward Carl Klingberg to the New York Rangers in exchange for Stempniak, a veteran of 690 NHL games.

Stempniak is the fourth player that Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has added to his roster in the last three weeks.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets acquire Lee Stempniak from New York Rangers

“To add more depth to our lineup is huge, especially coming down the stretch and in the playoffs,” said Andrew Ladd, who scored twice against the Kings Sunday. “(Stempniak is) just another solid NHLer. Obviously another good two-way guy that can make plays and plays a really solid game.”

Story continues below advertisement

The Jets also got goals from a pair of recent acquisitions, Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers, and held the defending Stanley Cup champions to 20 shots on goal in one of their more complete showings of the season. Blake Wheeler added an empty-net goal.

Jeff Carter scored both Los Angeles goals, as the Kings dropped a third consecutive game on the heels of an eight-game winning streak.

“We’re comfortable with the style that we play and have a good understanding of what we need to do to win those hockey games,” Ladd said. “We head into every game knowing we can beat any team and that’s our expectation.”

The Jets (32-20-12) have earned points in 10 of their last 12 games and have a three-point lead on Minnesota for the first wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

“The last six periods have been pretty darn close to the way we want to look,” said Jets coach Paul Maurice, looking back to the team’s shootout loss to St. Louis on Thursday.

READ MORE: Steen scores SO winner in hometown as Blues edge Winnipeg Jets 2-1

The Kings (29-21-12) remain in a precarious position, tied with Calgary for third in the Pacific Division.

“It wasn’t even close, to be honest with you,” said Carter, when asked about the Kings’ effort. “We need to get going. We’re in a tight race, and every game for us is a playoff game. We need to get our level up. We haven’t been playing well enough, that’s the bottom line.”

Story continues below advertisement

Martin Jones replaced Jonathan Quick to start the third period after the Kings’ top goalie allowed four goals on 21 shots.

Michael Hutchinson made 18 saves for the Jets. His toughest save came off Jordan Nolan on a first-period breakaway.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Winnipeg Jets take on the Los Angeles Kings on March 3rd

110
Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets skates towards the loose puck off a rebound from goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings during second period action. Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
210
Anthony Peluso of the Winnipeg Jets checks Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings into the boards during first period action. Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
310
Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets gives his stick to a young fan after receiving first star honors following a 5-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images
410
Winnipeg Jets players hit the ice for the pre-game warm up prior to NHL action against the Los Angeles Kings. Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
510
Andrew Ladd, Michael Frolik and Bryan Little of the Winnipeg Jets celebrate a second period goal in front of goaltender Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images
610
Adam Lowry of the Winnipeg Jets takes a second period face-off against Jarret Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images
Story continues below advertisement
710
Anthony Peluso of the Winnipeg Jets and Trevor Lewis of the Los Angeles Kings chase the loose puck along the boards during second period action. Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
810
Drew Stafford of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his first period goal against the Los Angeles Kings with teammates at the bench. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images
910
Trevor Lewis of the Los Angeles Kings and Tyler Myers of the Winnipeg Jets keep an eye on the play during third period action. Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images
1010
Brayden McNabb of the Los Angeles Kings lay at the bottom of the pile as the linesman try to separate him from Mark Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets. Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

“I thought we played another great game,” Hutchinson said. “We picked up right where we left off the other night. We wanted to show we can play with these guys. They’ve had a lot of playoff success and it was a playoff-style game for us.”

Story continues below advertisement

The game was decided by a three-goal second-period outburst by the Jets after Carter had tied the game. Myers made it 2-1 when he walked around Dustin Brown at the point, bided his time, and beat Quick from the right faceoff dot at 10:43.

“The offensive parts, we’re excited about,” Maurice said of Myers, who came to Winnipeg from Buffalo along with Stafford on Feb. 11. “The game turns on that goal.”

Notes: Hutchinson made his sixth start in the last seven games for the Jets, and improved to 5-0-3 in his last eight. … Quick allowed only six goals in his previous six starts before the rough outing in Winnipeg. He had started 17 consecutive games prior to sitting out Friday night’s game in Anaheim. … Wheeler returned to the Jets’ lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

Sponsored content