Winnipeg Jets winger Mathieu Perreault felt like he had scored a game-winning goal in the playoffs.
“The 2-1 games, you know, this is playoff-type hockey,” said Perreault, who supplied the go-ahead goal on the power play in the second period. “That’s what we want. We’re not looking to score five, six goals and make it like an open game.
“We like the 2-1 games where we defend hard and bury them when we get a chance.”
Perreault notched his 14th goal of the season, helping snap the Flames’ three-game win streak. He now has three goals in his past four games after a 14-game scoreless drought.
WATCH | Jets beat Flames in battle of West powerhouses:
The Flames needed at least one point to clinch a playoff spot or have Minnesota lose to the New York Rangers in their Saturday game, but the Wild won 5-2.
Mark Scheifele scored his 34th goal of the season for the Jets (42-25-4) and Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves for his 30th win of the season.
Mark Jankowski had a goal for the Flames (43-21-7) and Mike Smith stopped 19 shots.
“We knew it was going to be a good game, and a tight one,” Jankowski said. “Not a lot of space out there, time or space for either team.
9 winningest goalies without a Stanley Cup ring…in 90 seconds
Winnipeg remains in top spot in the Central Division. The Flames came into the game in first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference.
Scheifele opened the scoring with nine seconds remaining in the first period, using a quick pass from defenceman Ben Chiarot across the front of the crease to beat Smith over his glove.
Preparing for playoff grind
“We’re playing solid,” Scheifele said. “You just have to have that attitude that it’s a playoff game from here on in. You’ve got to ramp yourself up, you’ve got to be ready for that grind. We’ve done that lately.”
Blake Wheeler also had an assist, giving the Jets captain 19 points in his past 12 games, including eight goals.
“2-1 at home against the best team in the West is a … beautiful win,” Wheeler said.
The Flames didn’t get a shot on goal in the opening period until just over six minutes in, although Johnny Gaudreau and Jankowski each hit a post. Shots on goal were 7-7 at the first intermission.
“We could have got one of those to go that went off the post early, it would have made a little bit of a difference, for sure,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters, whose team was playing the second of back-to-back games.