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Wheeler has 2 goals, assist in Jets’ win over Sharks

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Blake Wheeler scored two goals and added an assist to help the Winnipeg Jets top the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Tuesday night.

The Jets built a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Adam Lowry, Mark Scheifele and Andrew Ladd. Wheeler scored his first of the game in the second period and another in the third.

Scheifele and Drew Stafford had a pair of assists, and Ladd also had an assist for Winnipeg (35-23-12), which began a three-game homestand.

Joe Pavelski scored twice and Joe Thornton assisted on both for the Sharks (34-28-8), who started a seven-game road trip.

Ondrej Pavelec made 38 saves for the Jets in his first consecutive starts since late November.

San Jose’s Antti Niemi started his sixth straight game, but was replaced by Alex Stalock after allowing three goals on eight shots. Stalock made 12 saves.

The Jets, with 82 points, moved into the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the idle Los Angeles Kings.

San Jose is five points behind the Kings.

The Jets are 5-1-3 in their last nine home games. They have seven more home games in their final 12 games of the regular season.

Lowry scored his eighth goal of the season from behind the goal line with a shot that bounced off Niemi and into the net just 1:10 in.

Scheifele and Ladd added power-play goals at 9:39 and 13:01 for a 3-0 lead.

Ladd tipped in defenseman Jacob Trouba’s shot from near the top of the circle for his 24th goal, tying him for the team lead with injured center Bryan Little.

Michael Frolik assisted on the goal for his 500th NHL point.

Pavelski scored at 1:06 of the second period off a rebound of Thornton’s shot.

Wheeler made it 4-1 after a great wraparound effort by Stafford. The puck went under Stalock, and Wheeler poked it into the net at 7:05.

Wheeler then added his 22nd goal when a pass from Stafford across the front of the net deflected off a Sharks’ stick into the air. Wheeler batted the puck past Stalock at 9:12 of the third.

Pavelski scored his 34th goal when he tipped in a Brent Burns’ shot from the point at 17:35.

Wheeler extended his point streak to five games. He has five goals and four assists during that span.

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