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Jets’ Ladd scores decisive goal in SO vs. Blues

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Andrew Ladd scored the decisive shootout goal to give the Winnipeg Jets a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Drew Stafford netted the only goal in regulation for the Jets. David Backes scored the lone goal for the Blues.

Ondrej Pavelec made 32 saves for his 16th win of the season. Brian Elliott stopped 33 shots in the loss.

The Jets are trying to hold off Calgary in the wild-card race in the Western Conference.

Neither team scored in the first period, but there were offensive opportunities.

Pavelec and Elliott were sharp as the pace picked up following just three combined shots after eight minutes of play.

Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson had the best scoring chance of the period when he found time and space as he skated in from the blue line, but was turned away by Pavelec.

The Blues took a 1-0 lead at 8:08 of the second when Backes beat a sprawling Pavelec after he took a cross-ice pass from Paul Stastny.

Backes’ goal was his 25th, marking the fourth time he reached the milestone in his nine-year NHL career.

Jacob Trouba came close to tying it a few minutes later. Blake Wheeler found the defenseman in space, but Trouba’s shot struck the post.

Pavelec continued his stellar play, making two acrobatic saves during a Blues power play late in the second period.

Michael Frolik and Mark Stuart both hit the post in the third period for the Jets, but Stafford solved Elliott with under 10 minutes to go after a nifty drop pass from Tyler Myers.

The goal was Stafford’s 15th of the season and sixth since he was acquired by the Jets from Buffalo before last month’s NHL trade deadline.

NOTES: Winnipeg will host Washington on Saturday night. St. Louis will travel to Minnesota to face the Wild.

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