ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Zach Parise scored twice in his return from injury, Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves and the Minnesota Wild kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Victor Rask, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno also scored for Minnesota, which entered play five points behind Colorado for eighth in the Western Conference. The Wild are in 10th place and would have been eliminated from the postseason with a loss.
Jacob Trouba scored a short-handed goal for Winnipeg, but goaltender Eric Comrie surrendered three first-period goals in his first start of the season and fifth of his career. Comrie finished with 23 saves.
The Jets have lost four of five to slip into a tie with Nashville for the lead in the Central Division. The Predators won 3-2 in Buffalo on Tuesday night. Winnipeg and Nashville each have two games remaining.
Parise, who leads Minnesota with 28 goals, missed four games with a lower-body injury, and the Wild lost three times.
It didn’t take long for Parise to show Minnesota what it missed.
Defenseman Greg Pateryn collected a loose puck behind the Jets’ goal and centered to Parise in front. Parise got a stick on the puck while tied up with a defenseman and it went flying high into the air. Comrie lost track of the shot and it fell off his back and into the goal.
Another fortunate bounce went Parise’s way three minutes later when the puck slid toward the Winnipeg goal after he tipped it in from the blue line.
Minnesota’s Eric Staal charged the puck but ended up skating over it while defended by Bryan Little. The puck slid to a streaking Parise, who beat Comrie at 12:16.
Rask scored from a wide angle with another deflection off Comrie’s back before the first intermission. Eriksson Ek made it 4-0 midway through the second with his seventh goal of the season.
Trouba scored his seventh to get the Jets on the board 16:13 into the second.
NOTES: Winnipeg forward Brandon Tanev left with an upper-body injury. Tanev has played in all 80 games this season and has 14 goals and 15 assists. ... Parise had first multigoal game of the season. ... Minnesota won each of its five meetings with Winnipeg this season.
Jets: Play at Colorado on Thursday.
Wild: Host Boston on Thursday.
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